Marcy-Holmes approves new apartment building

The apartment building designed for graduate and international students will be built on a historic site.

Freund Haus’ appeal to demolish 1013 University Ave. S.E. was granted, making way for an eight-unit development with 26 bedrooms to be built in its place.

Freund Haus’ appeal to demolish 1013 University Ave. S.E. was granted, making way for an eight-unit development with 26 bedrooms to be built in its place.

by Lolla Mohammed Nur

Plans for a new apartment development gained unanimous approval at a Marcy-Holmes land use committee meeting, despite the fact that it will be constructed on a designated historic site. The original plan for Freund Haus, a two-and-a-half-story apartment building on University Avenue Southeast, called for construction on a historic site in Marcy-Holmes 20 months ago. However, Mark Freund, the property owner, needed to make changes so his proposal could comply with the cityâÄôs Heritage Preservation Commission âÄòs requirements. The Minnesota Daily reported in June that FreundâÄôs appeal to demolish two houses, 1013 and 1019 University Ave. S.E., in order to build a 23-unit building was rejected by the commission. Freund was later given the go-ahead to demolish 1013 because it was too damaged by its previous owner to be rehabilitated or preserved. The new apartment building will be built in its place. The newest plan for the apartment building shows a smaller, eight-unit development with 26 bedrooms. It will be built across the street from the historic L-shaped apartment building in Florence Court, known for once being home to singer Bob Dylan. The developmentâÄôs architect, Dennis Kroll, said he hopes construction will be completed in June. Chair of the Land Use Committee, Jo Radzwill, said the Heritage Preservation CommissionâÄôs decision is important because Marcy-Holmes is MinneapolisâÄô oldest neighborhood. âÄúOur neighborhood is one of the most historic. We donâÄôt want to lose the buildings that have value,âÄù Radzwill said. She also said that as Minneapolis is expanding, the city is beginning to realize the importance of preserving its history. There are about 800 properties in Minneapolis that have historic significance. Principle city planner Haila Maze said there is a large debate on which properties to preserve. âÄúUnfortunately, buildings that are historic arenâÄôt always up to modern standards of space and configuration,âÄù she said. âÄúBut if we allowed just convenience to dictate when buildings were saved or not, weâÄôd probably get rid of the vast majority of historic buildings because most of them really are outdated.âÄù The new apartment building will be built with a prairie architecture design marketed to graduate and international students. âÄúThis property will be managed differently than my other properties,âÄù Freund said. âÄúItâÄôll be more expensive. ItâÄôll be luxurious.âÄù He doesnâÄôt think the monthly per-room rent of at least $850 will repel potential tenants. âÄúGraduate and international students are a different market,âÄù he said. âÄúTheyâÄôre a serious group; theyâÄôre not looking for a party house, and theyâÄôll have a low resident-turnover rate.âÄù Freund also said quality housing attracts âÄúgood tenants,âÄù which is one of the main reasons the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association supported his proposal. âÄúWe want housing where families and others than just plain old students would want to live,âÄù Radzwill said. âÄúWe want something thatâÄôs suitable for more than just one segment of the population.âÄù She said the neighborhood hopes FreundâÄôs development will attract small families and graduate students to have more diversity. âÄúWe donâÄôt have anything against [undergraduate] students, and we know they need a decent place to live,âÄù Radzwill said. âÄúBut weâÄôd like to see housing that could be used for more diverse purposes.âÄù The neighborhood wants landlords to take care of their properties, she said. The current Freund Haus plan includes eight furnished units with two to four bedrooms each, and some units will have a dining room. The underground parking lot will have an elevator from the basement to the main floor. Each housing unit is planned to have stainless steel kitchen equipment, quality finishes and flat screen TVs. The cityâÄôs planning commission will meet with Freund in November to determine whether the plan will be code compliant. It also needs a conditional use permit from the city because of its size. âÄúI am really excited for this project,âÄù Freund said. âÄúWeâÄôve all been trying to take an approach of âÄòletâÄôs do this togetherâÄô and that has really helped.âÄù