The large plot of dirt on University Avenue between the Interstate 35W and 10th Avenue bridges will soon make way for a new apartment building.
According to Kelly Doran, owner of Doran Companies, the 200-unit project — dubbed “The Bridges” — is in preliminary stages, but construction could start as soon as April with an opening set for fall of 2014.
Doug Carlson, president of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, said Doran first proposed a smaller one- to two-story commercial development.
“They’ve encouraged us to think bigger,” Doran said.
Last year, Doran told the Minnesota Daily that The Bridges would be roughly the same size as his previous developments, like The Knoll or The Edge on Oak.
According to Doran, the neighborhood association and city are looking for a taller, denser development along University Avenue.
“We said ‘Oh gosh, this is the opportunity to build something really dramatic,’” Carlson said.
More than twice the size of the neighboring FloCo Fusion apartment building, The Bridges will serve as a “gateway” to the University of Minnesota area and Marcy-Holmes, Carlson said.
The Bridges will be 11 stories high at its tallest point, with two nine-story tiers, according to city documents.
Doran said the complex will have many amenities, including an exercise room and a theater. Rent in The Bridges will range from $900 per month for a studio to $2000 per month for a two-bedroom unit.
City Councilman Cam Gordon, whose ward includes the University and Dinkytown, said more student housing close to campus is good, but he is worried about the cost for families.
“I do have this concern that we aren’t really addressing the need … for more reasonably priced, affordable student housing,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that somehow the market can’t help provide that better.”
Gordon also said high-end student apartment projects could reach a “saturation point.” Doran said overbuilding is an issue he has considered.
“That’s a real interesting issue,” Doran said. “There’s a lot of housing being built and being proposed to be built. Can the market support the absorption of all that housing? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”