Preliminary Work on the Southwest Light Rail (SWLRT) is Underway
On May 13th the Kenilworth Trail was closed from the Midtown Greenway to 21st Street and the Cedar Lake Trail was closed west of France Avenue to allow clearing and other preparatory work for light rail construction. The Kenilworth Trail, which connects our neighborhood with downtown, will remain closed until the summer of 2022 and the Cedar Lake Trail will remain closed until the fall of 2021. More information about construction plans can be found at http://swlrt.org. Construction is likely to impact our neighborhood from now through 2022, with the current Abbott and Chowen avenues to be connected by a newly built section of West 31st Street, which will be adjacent to the West Lake Station. Passenger operation is slated to commence in 2023. When completed, the 14.5 mile line will extend the Green Line from Target Field to Eden Prairie.
Plans for Calhoun Towers Modified
If the City accepts proposed changes to plans for the project, it will consist of one broad tower instead of two towers, along with two 7-story buildings and one 6-story building. The revised plan will cover slightly less space, but will still consist of approximately 740 apartment units. The number of indoor parking stalls will be reduced to approximately nine for every ten units.
Bader Development expects to present the revised plans to the City Planning Commission in late October or early November. If approved, construction would likely begin in spring or summer of 2020 and take five to seven years to complete. The last structure to be built would be the 6-story structure, which will be immediately adjacent to the West Lake light rail station. This final unit is to meet the City’s affordable housing requirement.
In its statements to the Planning Commission on the initial proposal the West Calhoun Neighborhood Council had asked for a reduction in the scale of the project in view of the inadequate street infrastructure serving the project site. Links to documents concerning the project can be found below:
- WCNC November 2017 Minutes (Calhoun Towers presentation)
- Calhoun Towers Proposal
- WCNC Calhoun Towers Proposal Response
- Bader Response to Comments on Calhoun Towers Plan
- Star Tribune article (1/9/18)
- Calhoun Towers Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) (2/18) Appendices (2/18)
- WCNC EAW Comments (4/18)
- WCNC comments to the Zoning & Planning Committee (5/3)
- Resident comments regarding density from May meeting (5/8)
- WCNC follow up questions and requests to Bader Dev (5/28)
Hotel at Lake/Excelsior
Elevage Development Group is planning to build an 8-story, 100-room hotel with 20 condo units, a restaurant and 107 enclosed parking spaces on the BP gas station site at the corner of Lake and Excelsior. Having already received Planning Commission approval, construction is expected to begin this fall.
5-Story Apartment Building Coming to West 31st Street
On July 22nd the City Planning Commission approved a 5-story, 49-unit apartment building on West 31st Street adjacent to an unimproved section of France Avenue. The building will consist of 48 one-bedroom units, typically around 650 to 950 square feet, and one smaller efficiency unit. Enclosed parking will consist of 45 car stalls and 29 bicycle racks. The developer is At Home Apartments, which already manages two adjacent apartment buildings.
Southwest Area Parks Planning
Pedestrian Safety Project
- Lake and Excelsior one sheet – proposed pedestrian safety improvements
- Map of proposed pedestrian safety improvements
Skate Park Activity Plan page link