Townhomes may be built in Cedar-Riverside

If the plan is approved, construction would start in early June.

Townhomes may be built in Cedar-Riverside

Four new townhomes might be going up in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood this summer.

The Cedar Riverside Neighborhood Revitalization Program is planning to use more than $900,000 to construct the townhomes in the renter-dominated neighborhood.

The project has been in the works since 2008 and will provide neighborhood residents with more homeownership opportunities, said Elena Gaarder, CRNRP executive director.

“This is not something the community went into lightly,” she said.

The project’s site plan was unanimously approved Monday by the City of Minneapolis Planning Commission. The City Council must pass it before it’s finalized.

If approved, construction could start as early as June 1 and would take about eight months, said Bill Buelow, director of construction for the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation — the nonprofit contracted to develop the project.

He said neighborhood businesses and residents are the driving force behind the project.

“We’re like a tool in their toolbox to sort of make this happen the way they want it to happen.”

Buelow met with residents and local businesses numerous times to draft the plans for the project and said the community showed strong support for the initiative.

The townhomes would go on the corner of Seventh Street South and 20th Avenue South –– one of the only lots that could be used for construction, Gaarder said.

“If you think about Cedar-Riverside, where else is there to actually build and create homeownership opportunities?” she said.

The construction will cost $722,000 according to Buelow. He said Greater Metropolitan Housing will try to sell three of the four-bedroom units for $195,000 and one for $185,000 to a buyer who has an income 80 percent or lower than the Twin Cities’ median income.

In 2000, the median value for a house in Cedar-Riverside was about $120,000 –– slightly higher than Minneapolis’ median value. The median household income for the Twin Cities was roughly $45,200 in 2010, according to the American Community Survey.

Greater Metropolitan Housing will also build a parking lot with 15 spaces available to adjacent buildings as one of the requirements from the neighborhood, Gaarder said.

The project also received support from the West Bank Community Coalition. WBCC’s executive director Michael Schmitz sent a letter of support for the organization to the city.

CRNRP’s Mary Mellen said that the neighborhood needed to create more opportunities for home ownership.

“It means really a lot on many, many levels because I’ve been here in the trenches a long time.”

She said it shows that the community has rebuilt their relationship with the city.