Doran proposes apartments for tiny Tonka Bay.

 
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Byline: Matt M. Johnson

Doran Cos. is proposing to build Tonka Bay's first-ever apartment building and, in an unusual move, will turn the project over to the owners of the city's only retail property when it is complete.

Minneapolis-based Doran wants to build the 126-unit project on a portion of the 6-acre Tonka Bay Village Shopping Center at 5609 Manitou Road. The developer will present a concept plan for the luxury, market-rate building to the Tonka Bay City Council on Feb. 12. The project site is on the south side of Lake Minnetonka. Tonka Bay is part of an isthmus that connects Shorewood and Excelsior to the Mound and Spring Park area.

The shopping center's owner, PMJ Tonka LLC, is having Doran design and build the apartments, said Tony Kuechle, Doran's president of development. The apartments would be the first Doran has developed for a client, rather than to own or sell itself, he said in a Wednesday interview.

PMJ Tonka, which shares an address with Plymouth-based Provident Real Estate Ventures, did not respond immediately on Wednesday to a request to comment on the apartment project. Phillip Jaffe, who was part of the partnership that redeveloped Mayo Clinic Square in downtown Minneapolis, is Provident's CEO and manages PMJ Tonka, according records on file with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.

Doran will demolish a 19,000-square-foot section on the north end of the 37,000-square-foot shopping center to make room for the apartments. The majority of the future three-story building will surround a 4,500-square-foot clubhouse.

The apartments are intended to integrate with the remaining retail on the property, which includes a restaurant, a Caribou coffee shop, a pet store and several service businesses.

"The idea behind the site is to create an integrated mixed-use walkable community, especially since this is the only retail in the city," Kuechle said.

The apartments will bring a new housing option to Tonka Bay, said City Manager John Tingley. Homes in the city of 1,500 residents are strictly single-family and duplexes, he said in an interview.

"I would say there is a need, especially for life-cycle housing," he said. "We don't have anywhere in Tonka Bay where people can downsize and still stay in the community."

The shopping center owners are seeking to redevelop part of their 64-year-old property because it has...

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