Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission denies 25-story apartment pitched for Marcy-Holmes

Doran Companies will appeal the decision to the city’s zoning and planning commission.

Plans for a 25-story apartment tower in Marcy-Holmes proposed by Doran Companies and CSM Corporation was denied by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Plans for a 25-story apartment tower in Marcy-Holmes proposed by Doran Companies and CSM Corporation was denied by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

On Tuesday, the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission rejected plans for a 25-story apartment proposed for the University’s Marcy-Holmes neighborhood.

The development, proposed by Doran Companies and CSM Corporation, was rejected because it didn’t meet several neighborhood requirements. The proposal called for the construction of a tower along University Avenue Southeast, and a five-story L-shaped apartment building to span the corner of 2nd Street and 3rd Avenue Southeast – with one and two-story townhomes to run between the two buildings. 

The proposed developments would’ve occupied an entire city block.

The HPC was not sold on the height of the apartment complex. According to the staff report by Senior City Planner Peter Crandall, the residential project was denied because:

· The heights of the buildings weren’t compatible with the character of the area

· The taller portions of the structure weren’t positioned away from neighboring businesses of lower height

· The building exceeded the area’s eight-story maximum height

· The development would’ve impeded the grain elevators’ ability to “continue their visual prominence over the rest of the district”

Chris Lautenschlager, executive director of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, attended the meeting and spoke on the behalf of the association.

In an interview, Lautenschlager explained that Doran and CSM’s proposal didn’t meet the city’s guidelines for the neighborhood.

“This building falls within the St. Anthony… Falls district. In 2012, there were a set of design guidelines [passed] that guide how [the] developments could or should look within that historic district,” Lautenschlager said in an interview.

He said the MHNA would’ve preferred the apartment building to max out at 18 stories.

Tonya Tennessen, Doran Companies’ vice president of communications and marketing, said in an email to the Minnesota Daily that the company still hopes to use the surface lot for development and gain approval from the commission.

“We intend to appeal this decision to the zoning and planning subcommittee of city council – as is the typical next step in the public process,” her email said.

Minnesota Student Association’s Government and Legislative Affairs Coordinator George Abdallah said the rejection of the proposal was “bittersweet.”

Though MSA had reservations about the apartment’s rental prices, Abdallah said the area still requires more housing for its growing population – specifically affordable units.