City Council reviews East Bank development

Lack of capital has caused delays for the Campus Crossroads development.

A rendering of the completed Campus Crossroads.

A rendering of the completed Campus Crossroads.

James Nord

The Minneapolis City Council is reviewing a revised proposal for the Campus Crossroads development on the East Bank, following extensive delays in the construction of the apartment and retail venture by Opus Northwest, L.L.C. Lack of capital caused by the poor economy created severe delays for the development and eventually led to the redesign, which significantly reduces the scope of the project. Under its current iteration, the six-story development of more than 140,000 square feet encompasses a street-level retail area and 120 apartments, according to a memo prepared by ESG Architects, the firm designing Campus Crossroads. The development will be located between Ontario and Oak streets on Washington Avenue. âÄúThe whole point is to create a vibrant streetscape,âÄù said David Graham, a principal at the firm. Opus reduced the number of floors in the development from eight to six and roughly halved the number of bedrooms, Becker said. Plans for a large retail development on Oak Street were nixed, and a CVS Pharmacy will occupy the largest portion of the allotted retail area. âÄúHaving a drugstore in the area is going to be great for the student population,âÄù said Nancy Rose Pribyl, president of the Stadium Village Commercial Association. Before construction can commence, the council planning committee has to approve the proposal and Opus must complete a number of other steps, including finalizing building plans, said city Senior Planner Becca Farrar. âÄúThe [construction] timeline is going to be dependent on financing and other issues, but the best case would be to start sometime this summer and deliver for the 2011 school year,âÄù said Opus Senior Project Manager Tom Becker. When the Central Corridor light-rail line is completed it will run down Washington Avenue, directly in front of Campus Crossroads. Two transit stations will be in close proximity to the complex, Graham said in a meeting with a City Council committee. He said that one of the main goals of the development is to increase population density around the transit corridor in order to promote alternative methods of transportation and to give students access to the entire city without needing a car. Additionally, this same increase in population density near campus is intended to stem the overwhelming tide of students flowing into neighborhoods populated by long-term residents. Graham described these neighborhoods as âÄúpockmarked with mini-dorms.âÄù