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Update on University-area housing projects

Various apartment developments are changing neighborhoods around campus.
Image by Shalom Berhane
The Doyle Apartments recently opened in Dinkytown along 4th Street.

Neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota have changed in recent years due to new large housing developments. While some are already offering leases, others are scheduled to open before next fall.

As the Doyle and Fieldhouse finish development, both buildings aim to attract thousands of student renters in Dinkytown and Como. Meanwhile in Prospect Park, Malcolm Yards is set to expand its complex with Malcolm Station and the Flats, the neighborhood’s two newest apartment complexes.

The Doyle hopes to rejuvenate Dinkytown

In 1970, University students organized a weeks-long protest on the property on Fourth Street where the Doyle now stands. The purpose of the protest was to prevent a fast food restaurant development from destroying existing businesses.

Now, the Doyle and housing projects like it are helping to activate student life in Dinkytown, according to Alicia Liebel Berg, a University alum and developer on the apartment building.

“On the Stadium Village and Dinkytown side, it just reached the point where [the housing] was old. It was ready for a new refresh,” Liebel Berg said. “Sometimes newness comes. That’s where we transition to.”

The $35 million building opened in September. The Doyle rents per bed and offers furnished units with up to four bedrooms. Along with their apartments, renters are also provided access to the building’s amenities including a fitness center, sauna, study rooms and rooftop deck.

The Doyle’s luxuries come at a price however, with an individual one bedroom apartment carrying a $1,600 monthly rent price tag, according to property manager Sydney Dreyer. Despite the price, Dreyer said the Doyle is currently at 95% capacity.

“[Tenants] are outside, they’re walking around, they’re visiting businesses,” Dreyer said. “I think it plays a huge part in revitalizing this area.”

Building a community at Malcolm Yards

The Market at Malcolm Yards opened in August 2021, bringing kitchens from around the world to a central space to feed the Prospect Park neighborhood. The Market was the beginning of a larger project to make Malcolm Yards “the place to be” in Minneapolis, according to Jeff Ellerd, one of the project’s developers.

The Flats and Malcolm Station apartment buildings are currently undergoing a combined $80 million construction adjacent to the Market and are both scheduled to open in summer 2023, Ellerd said. While Malcolm Station will provide market rate housing for anyone, the Flats will provide affordable housing only available to people making 60% or less of the median area income.

“The neighborhood has been our partner in terms of advocating for some of the things we needed to make the development successful,” Ellerd said. “We think it creates a better community.”

Ellerd said the Flats will also reserve roughly 14 “high priority homeless units” to house people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness as decided by Hennepin County.

Despite their differences, the buildings will offer similar amenities, according to Ellerd. Each complex will offer tenants a fitness center, sky lounge and underground parking. Additionally, Wall Companies, the Malcolm Yards project developers, are discussing plans with the city park board to create an on-site park that connects to the Minneapolis Grand Rounds trail system.

“Our hope is that we have a connected community … and that these people are intermingling and providing a liveliness and kind of a destination for the area,” Ellerd said.

Fieldhouse to begin welcoming students

Construction is underway on Fieldhouse, an apartment building located south of Van Cleve Park near the 15th Avenue railroad bridge. Although the apartment building isn’t scheduled to be completed until summer 2023, community manager Brady Maly said in an email to the Minnesota Daily he has seen a “positive response” from students already reserving their leases for next fall.

Similar to other apartment buildings in development, Fieldhouse plans to offer its tenants a variety of amenities including an outdoor spa, a game room, study rooms and a four-season spa.

Units will start at $700 per month per bed, consisting of furnished studio apartments with up to five bedrooms, Maly said. The building also plans to offer penthouse units with balconies overlooking the neighborhood.

“We strive to provide a comfortable living experience that allows students to focus on what matters most during their time at the University,” Maly said.

Preserving History

Tony Nicklow has owned Tony’s Diner in Dinkytown for over 20 years. After other longstanding Dinkytown restaurants such as Gray’s and Camdi have closed in recent months, Nicklow said new housing developments could be an effective way to attract more customers.

However, Nicklow said Dinkytown’s history is what makes the neighborhood special, and placed responsibility on remaining businesses like Tony’s and Al’s Breakfast to protect the neighborhood from big chains.

“There’s thousands of kids walking the streets, and it’s a great thing to keep going with all these apartments going up,” Nicklow said. “My goal is that we keep Dinkytown as cool as we can, keep that nostalgia here in spirit.”

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