New student housing project planned for Stadium Village

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Construction of a new student housing project in Stadium Village is scheduled to begin in late August.

Opus Development Corporation has signed purchase agreements to take over the Mercil’s Campus Auto Repair property and the neighboring building that currently houses Noodles & Company, located at the intersection of Walnut Street Southeast and Washington Avenue Southeast.

The project received approval from the Minneapolis City Planning Commission at a meeting in early June. The plan is scheduled to go before the City Council’s Zoning and Planning Committee and the full council in July before Opus can officially acquire the properties and begin construction, said Dave Menke, Opus senior vice president and general manager.

Opus is nearing completion of Stadium Village Flats, its most recent housing project located two blocks east of Mercil’s.  The new building will be similar in design but smaller, featuring 98 units with 160 beds.

“The quality, the finishes, the amenities will be very similar,” Menke said.

Darrin Mercil, owner of the auto shop, said business is strong and customers are very loyal despite the light-rail construction outside his front door. He said the company is not closing, but rather is considering relocating to an auto shop near 19th Avenue South and Riverside Avenue.

Mercil said the relocation is a product of the neighborhood changing over the years.

“This was the outskirts of the University,” he said. “If you look at the old pictures, we were three blocks from the University, back in the day. Now we’re probably in the middle of things.”