From impound lot to housing?


Like many other reporters in town, I spent a big chunk of the last week covering the collapse of the I-35W bridge (here, here and here). That’s probably why I missed a potentially important development/architecture story. On Aug. 2, the Star Tribune reported that Minneapolis wants to sell 56 acres of land near its impound lot on the edge of downtown. Three developers came forward with plans: Ryan Companies, James Dayton Design and Investment Property Services. Ryan and Dayton propose to build housing on the site; IPS wants to construct an international aquatic center. I recently interviewed Dayton about MacPhail Center for Music, a project in the city’s riverfront district, due to open in January 2008. (I’ll post that story within the next week or so.)

For links and more, go directly to Building Minnesota, Todd Melby’s personal blog.

Both Ryan and Dayton are proposing lots of housing: 950-1,500 units for Ryan and 1,600 units for Dayton. A large amount of housing in a small amount of space should be seen as a good thing, Dayton argues. “Density is a scary word to some people, but the reality is that we need to take advantage of secondary sites like these near downtown, rather than going further out, chewing up cornfields and contributing to sprawl,” he said.