New condos are a worthy project

by Daily Editorial Board

Real estate developer Alatus LLC has announced plans to erect a 40-story skyscraper in Marcy-Holmes. If approved, construction on the new high-rise condominiums could start later this year.
The new building would offer more than 207 units, according to Alatus’ Senior Development Associate Chris Osmundson. Prices would range between $300,000 and $3 million. 
However, Senior City Planner Janelle Widmeier noted the development would take place in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District, which could hinder plans for construction. 
In the past, we have remarked that we would like to see the University of Minnesota area focus on affordable housing rather than luxury living units. While Alatus’ condos are far more expensive than many people can expect to afford, we nevertheless feel there are some significant differences between the condos and University-area luxury apartments. 
For example, Alatus would build its skyscraper over a vacant funeral home, an athletic club and a parking structure, not a small business. 
Furthermore, condos are generally permanent accommodations, but many University-area apartments house students, who come and go every few years. Expensive housing investments make more sense if they have long-term payoffs. 
Finally, the condominiums’ location near St. Anthony Main is far enough away from the University that it does not rely on a captive audience for business.
Alatus’ skyscraper will come with costs and benefits for the community, but, of course, the same is true for all construction projects. Ultimately, though, we believe this project represents development done right.