Neighborhood hears update on L&H Station

TRANSIT TALK

By: Cali Owings

Published: February 9, 2015

More than 150 people attended a neighborhood meeting about the mixed-use social services hub and residential project pitched for2225 E. Lake Street near the Blue Line light rail in Minneapolis.

L&H Station Development, a joint venture of Roseville-based developer Launch Properties and Minneapolis-based architecture firm BKV Group, shared updated plans for the 6.3-acre site at the meeting last Thursday.

The master plan for the block includes a new office building and service hub for Hennepin County, 565 units of market-rate and affordable housing, 16,000 square feet of retail, a transit plaza and a permanent home for the Midtown Farmers Market. The site is currently occupied by the Minneapolis school district, and the farmer’s market operates out of the parking lot. Hennepin County plans to purchase the entire site and sell off portions of it for multi-phased development.

The new renderings for the project show retail uses along 22nd Avenue and Lake Street, a grand entrance to the “Corcoran Commons” plaza and an edited palette of colors and materials. In December, members of the Minneapolis Planning Commission called attention to the street frontage retail, public space and wide array of materials and colors originally presented.

The Corcoran Neighborhood Organization is reviewing comments received at the meeting and online through a survey and will share results with the city and the Planning Commission.

Residents raised concern at the meeting about the project’s impact on parking and congestion at the busy intersection and how the farmer’s market plaza will be funded and maintained long-term, said Eric Gustafson, executive director for the neighborhood organization.

The neighborhood organization has been invested in the site’s future for a long time, Gustafson said, and so far the development team has been responsive when it comes to the farmer’s market plaza, the pedestrian environment and sustainability goals. The board is expected to meet this week to review the comments and take a stance on the project. Those comments will be made available to the public during the city’s review process.

“Our board is generally feeling like it’s headed in the right direction,” Gustafson said.

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