From: Darlene Levenson Date: 6:17pm, Jul 29
Plans are moving along quickly to build and put a chain grocery store and apartment complex into the space and parking lot of the existing Associated Bank branch building. Mpls. developer Ryan Cos. is proposing a 39,000-square-foot grocery store at the Snelling/Selby intersection’s northeast corner, with about 208 apartments stretching along Selby and Dayton Avenues.
The existing bank branch will be torn down in the project’s first phase, and a new outlet erected about a block north, off Snelling. The new bank will be a two-story 13,000-square-foot building, with five new drive-through windows, and about 50 parking spaces. (In addition, Ryan Cos. is currently building another residential complex anchored by a Whole Foods store on Hennepin Avenue S. in downtown Minneapolis. So far, it hasn’t been verified that Whole Foods would be the grocery store to be built at our neighborhood intersection.)
What concerns me is the increased lack of parking and additional traffic at the Snelling/Selby intersection due to the grocery store and apartment building. For awhile now, Associated Bank has allowed customers for the existing small businesses on that stretch of Selby to park in their lot, since there is so little parking for them otherwise. That will be eliminated, and from what I’ve heard, the few existing parking spaces on the street will become metered. Our existing businesses are necessarily concerned about where their customers will be able to park. Mike, part owner of the Neighborhood Café (which is near Cahoots), is worried that all his loyal customers who drive there from near and far will become disgusted with the resulting lack of parking and will necessarily have to stop going to the café. Cahoots and all the other shops would be impacted. If nothing else, it would be nice if somehow we could let Ryan Cos. know we want more new parking space for our existing small businesses in the construction area! (They are holding public meetings that we can attend. See further down.)
Also, I’m sure you’re aware of the long lines of traffic along Snelling and Selby, and how horrible it already is to make left and right turns during rush hours. Well, imagine what chaos the construction alone will cause! Yet admittedly the new complex could generate more income for the existing small businesses, once it is completed. But would it make sense to cause all that chaos with another grocery store, when we already have Cub, Rainbow, Whole Foods and Kowalski’s, and even Target’s groceries, all within a mile of that corner? As for the apartment building, it would only be market-rate rental. That means no “affordable” rental units targeted at lower-income tenants.
If you’re interested in adding your input about this renovation, the Union Park District Council Land Use Committee meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Anchor Bank community room, and everyone is invited to attend. The next meeting is Tues., Aug. 13. (Contact info for UPDC: call (651) 645-6887 or email <email obscured>).
From: Jim Buscher Date: 7:04pm, Jul 29
I think this could turn out to be a very nice addition to the city and neighborhood. I used to live in the neighborhood and banked there. I believe Associated/Ryan are planning a public parking lot on the street north of Snelling, I forget the name, just east of the new bank building. Though that’s a block north of most of those Selby-based businesses, I think it’s still better than nothing. Associated owns the land and has probably been covering most if not all the costs of it (snow removal, taxes, etc). It’s there’s to do with as they wish. I’m also not aware of any subsidies (i.e. TIF) that they are seeking either. There are several affordable housing projects being proposed along University Ave. So many Councilmember Tolbert recently voted against a $2.5 million TIF request for a project near the Super Target because in his mind there are too many affordable projects being done versus market rate ones.
Enduring construction is a pain, no doubt about it. I’m kitty corner from the Penfield. Me and my neighbors have endured many 7am wake up calls to jack hammering. Even on Saturdays. LOL. It’s annoying, but it doesn’t last forever.
I’m also intrigued that they are proposing yet another grocery store for the area. Your right in that there are so many already. I think Whole Foods is likely. It’s the exact same development team building the Whole Foods/apartments in Minneapolis (222 Hennepin). I’m speculating, but if it were WF, I’d imagine they’d close their store on Grand Ave and move into this larger location. That could be a blessing given the Grand Ave site could be redeveloped into something more urban than a big store with a large surface parking lot.