Members of Prospect Park 2020, a nonprofit organization created in the spring, are approaching developers to bring more housing for seniors, alumni and artists to the neighborhood — but not students.
“We have no opposition to student housing,” said 2020 board member Dick Gilyard. “But we’d like to nudge that closer to campus.”
Since the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood has seen a swell of student housing development in recent years, demand is already being met, said neighborhood resident John DeWitt.
Prospect Park instead wants to focus on attracting more businesses as construction on the Central Corridor light rail line wraps up next year.
“We’re pretty confident that the area was going to develop with or without us,” Gilyard said.
Working proactively will allow them to add 1,000–2,000 new housing units to the neighborhood in the next year, he said.
Prospect Park 2020 is also working with University of Minnesota officials to make the neighborhood friendlier to bikers and pedestrians.
“We’ve been really working to get University involvement in this,” Dewitt said. “We know they’re going to be key to making something that’s sustainable.”
The neighborhood sits next to the University, and officials want to capitalize on that — for new businesses.
“This is perhaps the most asset-rich location in the entire country,” DeWitt said, because it’s “next to the brains” at the University.