Twin Dinkytown apartments receive go-ahead for additional story

Completion of the additional story is expected in the next year or two.

Courtesy of the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.

Jack Rodgers

Courtesy of the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.

Yves De Jesus

A proposal to add an additional story to twin Dinkytown apartments was approved earlier this month. 

The City of Minneapolis Planning Commission approved a variance request March 9 for two apartment units located near the northern border of Dinkytown: one at 616 12th Ave. SE and the other at 1202 7th St. SE, near University Lutheran Church of Hope. The request sought to add an additional story to each of the existing two-story apartment complexes, hitting the maximum height limit set by new city zoning guidelines. 

“The finished project will help enhance the functional obsolescence of the building and will be a great addition to the area,” Go Gopher Rentals, LLC said in a city application form. Go Gopher Rentals could not be reached for further comment.

A variance is a change from current building codes that usually need city approval before being implemented. 

The Minneapolis City Council approved its 2040 Comprehensive Plan late last year that would change zoning ordinances to allow for denser development in much of the city. But the city has not yet implemented the plan directly into its zoning codes. 

“And so the way we’re resolving that, in the meantime, is by granting variances for projects that are in line with the [2040] plan, but not with our current zoning,” said Ward 3 Council member Steve Fletcher, whose ward includes Dinkytown.

Senior Minneapolis city planner Lindsey Silas said the variance approval was straightforward because the applicant met all city conditions and no opposition for the project was ever voiced from the neighborhood.

“The guidance for the 2040 plan in this area is three stories, and that’s what led to this particular project for building a third story because the guidance for this site is for up to three stories,” she said.

“[Go Gopher Rentals has] two years from the date of the planning session to construct the addition and comply with the condition,” Silas said.

Caitlin Anderson contributed to this report.