New Marcy-Holmes development would convert single-family home

Go Gopher Rentals LLC has proposed the property, which would convert a single-family home into denser housing.

Courtesy of Hennepin County.

Courtesy of Hennepin County.

Caitlin Anderson

A single-family home in Marcy-Holmes could be seeing new life as denser rental housing, mirroring a larger trend in campus neighborhoods.

Representatives of Go Gopher Rentals, LLC met with the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association last month to present plans for rental units on the site of an existing single-family house at 813 12th Ave. SE.  The project is one of a number of developments converting single-family homes into denser housing near the University of Minnesota.

“We would like to improve the current site with a new … building that makes good use of the site and fits into the neighborhood,” said Mike Swedahl, a representative for Go Gopher in a letter to MHNA. 

Swedahl declined further comment.

The developers plan to demolish the existing two-story home to construct four new rental units totaling 20 bedrooms. Each unit would total more than 2,300 square feet with three and a half bathrooms. Plans also include a bike and scooter shelter, and improved landscaping outside the building.

Ward 3 City Council member Steve Fletcher, who represents Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown, said he expects more single-family homes to be converted into larger developments throughout the neighborhood and beyond.

“It’s one of the things that I think we’re going to see a lot of citywide,” he said.

Go Gopher also recently proposed a similar project at a site of a single-family home in Prospect Park last fall.

The project currently proposes four parking spaces, which has concerned some residents, said Marcy-Holmes resident Sam Penders. He said nearby transit can help alleviate parking issues.

“I don’t think parking will be a problem at all,” he said. “[With bus stops nearby,] you can easily get to the Quarry to get groceries … [or] you can take that to class.”

In a document sent to MHNA, Go Gopher said fewer parking stalls “will encourage alternative modes of transportation such as busing, car sharing, biking and walking.”

When houses like the one on the current site are inefficient and falling apart, new development puts the land to better use, Fletcher said.

“Being able to convert that to a duplex or a triplex and make better use out of it and make more homes for more families especially in a neighborhood so close to transit and biking and walking distance to the U,” he said. “I think that’s a positive development in a lot of cases.”

Penders said a newer, denser project has multiple benefits. 

“There’s also just like such better energy efficiency, and this is also just adding a lot of density to that lot,” he said. “It’s just a overall better use of space”

University student Sam Ricker said more housing in the area could help ease a shortage that makes living near campus difficult for students.

“When we signed our house in Como, we started [looking] fairly early,” he said. “With other places too, it seems like the culture is that you have to sign your leases early because they fill up so fast.” 

The developer plans to meet with the neighborhood again on Tuesday to provide more details on the project.