CNO Policy on New Housing for 2225 E Lake St Development

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Hennepin County broke ground in January on phase 1 of redevelopment of 2225 East Lake, the 6.5 acre property immediately south and west of Lake Street and Hiawatha. In addition to new retail, County services, and a public plaza and permanent home for the Midtown Farmers Market, plans call for a total of 565 new homes to be built by one or more developers who would partner with the County. Commissioner Peter McLaughlin asked the CNO Board to present its desired mix of housing for the overall development.

The Corcoran Neighborhood Organization's Land Use & Housing committee led a series of discussions, fact-finding and presentations, and community debates on these topics over the last 9 months with the final meeting on Jan. 7 attended by a diverse mix of renters, homeowners, longtime and new residents representing a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives. Informed by these discussions, the CNO Board has finalized a 1-page policy to present to Hennepin County.

The board recognizes that development will play out over multiple phases and at least ten years of time, during which numerous economic and market trends will change and affect developer preferences, resources, and constraints. The policy emphasizes goals unlikely to be met by market forces alone.

Types, number of bedrooms, and unit size. CNO advocates for a wide mix of housing opportunities reflecting the diversity of today’s Corcoran neighborhood in terms of family size and income, cultural background, and transportation habits.

The mix should include as many ground-level walk-out units as possible, along with some live-work / artist units, senior / supportive units, and intergenerational opportunities. In terms of number of bedrooms and unit size, the mix should include 1-bedroom and studio units, & micro / smaller units as one tactic to achieve affordability.

CNO is especially enthusiastic about achieving more 3- and 2-bedroom units, which currently comprise just 1% and 26% of our existing apartment stock, respectively. This push also responds to a boom in Corcoran’s population under 5 years old and in households with children under 18, relative to greater Minneapolis. We also advocate for substantial on-site, outdoor play spaces and amenities to ensure livability for children and families.

Tenure. CNO wants to maintain Corcoran’s appeal as a place to rent, to own, or to expand as households grow, age, or require additional space. We desire pathways to ownership and affordable opportunities so that renters needn’t leave Corcoran in order to own. As such, CNO advocates for a range of ownership opportunities through condominium, cooperative, cohousing, shared housing, rent-to-own and/or other arrangements.

Consumer costs. CNO wants to maintain Corcoran’s status and reputation as welcoming to all household backgrounds and income levels, and thus advocates for a mix of market rate, workforce, and affordable housing.

Download / view the full policy document [PDF file]

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