Proposed Dinkytown apartment complex would displace Mesa Pizza, Chatime

CPM Companies wants to build a new 16-story apartment complex on the popular Dinkytown block.

Late-night crowds line up for a slice of Mesa Pizza during homecoming weekend Oct. 14, 2012, in Dinkytown.

Daily File Photo

Late-night crowds line up for a slice of Mesa Pizza during homecoming weekend Oct. 14, 2012, in Dinkytown.

Melissa Steinken

A proposal for a 16-floor student housing complex in the heart of Dinkytown was unveiled by Minneapolis developer CPM Companies Tuesday night.

The plans, shown to a Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association committee meeting for feedback before the project moves forward, was met with skepticism from meeting attendees.

While the historic and non-historic facades of Mesa Pizza and Chatime Bubble Tea would remain intact, the rest of their building would be demolished, said Daniel Oberpriller, principal at CPM Properties.

“You just ate up Dinkytown with this,” said James Sander of Kafe 421.

The preliminary building plans aim to create housing for University of Minnesota undergraduate students.

Oberpriller said the design only includes one bedroom, two bedroom and studio units. He said it would be made of concrete, designed to be the greenest building in the area and last for around 100 years or more.

Despite the current buildings’ historical identity as an old firehouse, Oberpriller said they’re not “gems” in the community.

Committee members raised concerns over elimination of streetscape, parking and leasing availability for other businesses.

“It’s really violating Dinkytown,” said Barbara Camm, co-chair of Preserve Historic Dinkytown. “This isn’t going to bring anything into Dinkytown. Services will bring things to Dinkytown because people need something to do.”

Oberpriller said he wants to get the project underway in March 2017, but it will first have to pass more Marcy-Homes and City of Minneapolis approvals.