MWF Properties bets on affordable apartments in Eagan.


Byline: Matt M. Johnson

Affordable housing developer MWF Properties thinks an apartment building is the best bet for a busy corner in Eagan that has been poised for redevelopment since at least 2003.

Richfield-based MWF is proposing to build a 50-unit workforce housing project in the middle of Eagan's primary industrial and manufacturing district, which is clustered on both sides of Interstate 35E south of Interstate 494. The four-story building, to be named Lexington Flats, would rise on 1.26 acres at 2935, 2977, 2981 and 2985 Lexington Ave.

The Eagan Advisory Planning Commission on Tuesday will consider rezoning the property from "transitional" and limited industrial use to planned development use.

The Lexington Flats site is on land that would be left over from the planned reconstruction of the intersection of Lexington Avenue and Lone Oak Road. The site is at the northwest corner of the intersection. The county is acquiring right of way on the future Lexington Flats properties to have enough room to build new turn lanes and other improvements.

The leftover land for the apartments will be "constrained," said Eagan Community Development Director Jill Hutmacher.

"I think the developer is trying to be creative in finding a use for the site," she said.

The apartments would be considered affordable for a household of four earning about $57,000 a year, which is 60 percent of the area median income, according to a project narrative on file with the city. The building will have one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with monthly rents ranging from $875 to $1,175.

Dakota County owns two of the four parcels that would form the redevelopment site; the other two are privately owned. One of the privately owned properties is a mini-storage facility; the other is a private home.

If all goes according to plan, construction would begin in June 2019 and wrap up in spring 2020.

Chris Stokka, an MWF development associate, declined to comment on the project. In the narrative, the developer wrote that the apartments will be "the highest and best use of the property," also noting that there is a need for more housing in Eagan.

Lexington Flats is theonly affordable project currently proposed or under development in Eagan that is applying for public assistance, Hutmacher said.

"I'm not...

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