Doran Co. proposes new Dinkytown apartments

Construction on the five-story, 102-unit complex could begin this summer.

Alex Holmquist

Plans for a new apartment complex in Dinkytown are in the works. Doran Companies, also responsible for the Sydney Hall development behind the Dinkydome, has submitted project plans to the city. The building would face the northeast corner of Fourth Street Southeast and 12th Avenue Southeast. The site was formerly the home of the Oh Day Aki Heart of the Earth Charter School, which closed in 2008. Jim LaValle, vice president of development for Doran Companies, said he hopes to begin construction this summer and complete the project by the 2011-12 school year. If approved, plans for the five-story building would include 102 total units ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments. There would also be two levels of underground parking. LaValle said the location is an attractive site because of its convenient access to public transportation and close proximity to Dinkytown businesses. Skott Johnson, president of the Dinkytown Business Association, said he thinks the site will be attractive to University of Minnesota students. âÄúDinkytown is always glad to see more people living in the area,âÄù Johnson said. But Johnson said there was some concern regarding plans for Sydney Hall, which changed dramatically over the course of the project. âÄúIt would have been nice if everyone had been kept informed on the changes,âÄù he said. Johnson also said he had hoped Sydney HallâÄôs look would be more in sync with its surroundings. âÄúItâÄôs an awfully big building to just be there and not blend into the dome building itself,âÄù Johnson said. LaValle said land use approvals for the project should be completed in June.