New Dinkytown development leaves students with one month to vacate

Forty-six tenants living in properties along the 1200 block of 4th Street Southeast must vacate by Feb. 28.

Thomas Magnon poses for a portrait on his front porch near Dinkytown on Monday, Feb. 4. Magnon and the other residents of several properties on the 1200 block of 4th Street SE, many of which are students, will be forced to move out on Feb. 28.

Tony Saunders

Thomas Magnon poses for a portrait on his front porch near Dinkytown on Monday, Feb. 4. Magnon and the other residents of several properties on the 1200 block of 4th Street SE, many of which are students, will be forced to move out on Feb. 28.

Miguel Octavio

An upcoming development in Dinkytown has left some tenants scrambling after it notified residents they have to move out by the end of the month. 

The City of Minneapolis approved a six-story, 114-unit apartment complex on the 1200 block of 4th Street Southeast by Chicago-based developer CA Ventures in early January. Forty-six tenants living on the property, 37 of whom are students, received a notice late last month stating they need to vacate the property by the end of February. Construction is slated to start this spring.  

Fourth-year student John Schoolmeesters had a monthly lease with one of the affected properties. Schoolmeesters said he’ll be forced to move back into his parents’ house in southern Minnesota if he doesn’t find new housing soon.

“I really couldn’t believe it. It all seems kind of ridiculous that it’s happening so quick,” Schoolmeesters said. “I mean, one month to find somewhere to live is almost impossible here [in] the city.”

Schoolmeesters said moving out mid-winter makes things even more difficult. He will receive an inconvenience payment and a return of his security deposit with no rent charge for February, according to the notice.

The email notice also recommended potential apartments in the area to residents, along with a brochure of The Link, another CA Ventures-owned development in Prospect Park. 

Developers notified students as soon as legally possible and fully compensated residents for the inconvenience through buyouts of their longer-term leases and payments for moving costs, said CA Ventures spokesperson Mimi Simon in an emailed statement. 

“CA has worked diligently to research and offer a fair payment package that suitably compensates students for new housing options on or near campus,” the statement reads.

Simon also said staff has been present to answer questions or concerns from parents and students. 

But Schoolmeesters said he has struggled to find other buildings with an affordable price point.

Thomas Magnon, 72, who said he has lived in Dinkytown since 2014, will also be displaced. He said he chose the area because of its nearby transportation, restaurants and shopping. 

Student-oriented apartments replacing homes in the area make staying in Dinkytown difficult, Magnon said. 

“The money isn’t the problem. You’ve got to find a place to live,” Magnon said. “I think most places around here want students. They’re not looking for senior citizens.”

Terene White, 67, lives in an apartment on 4th Street Southeast with her partner, who works as a caretaker for the property. She and her partner, who both have disabilities, are concerned about the moving process. White said the influx of new apartments hinders affordable housing. 

“When I checked on the rent of these new buildings that they have out, [I thought] we couldn’t afford it for sure,” White said. “And what does a student do? How do they pay for it?”