The Park Nicollet project took a major step forward June 5 when the City Council with Klodt Inc. to construct two buildings on the Eighth Avenue property and the neighboring Lutheran Digest site.
On Tuesday, Klodt met with the council again to discuss further details of the project, including their vision of how it will look. John Bell, Klodt’s vice president of construction and development, cautioned that details could still change. But the vision offers a good look at what planners are going for with the project.
Below are some highlights that were discussed. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
The Eighth Avenue streetscape
- The five-story, light-colored building on Eighth aims to create an active street scene.
- Lighting will be key. An overhang projecting from the top of the building will likely be lit, adding a glow to the Hopkins night scene. Lighting on the plaza at the corner of Eighth and First Street South will add a further life to the streetscape.
- Ground units, some of which will eventually be retail space, will have eight-foot glass windows. Glass surrounding the lobby of the apartment building will make the entrance nearly transparent at night, creating an open, inviting look.
- Sidewalks will be 13 feet wide, which will allow for a sidewalk café or an artist to set up a display.
- There will be 163 units total. The Eighth Avenue building, the first building to be built, will have 73 units, including six units of “flex space” that will eventually be retail. The L-shaped building on Ninth Avenue and First Street South will go up next and have 90 units.
- Studio apartments will make up about 11 percent of the apartments, one bedrooms will make up 61 percent and two bedrooms will make up 28 percent.
- There will be as many as 30 unit types, although about half of those plans are variations on one of the other themes.
- Each unit above the ground floor will have a 5-foot-by-9-foot balcony.
- Expect rent to cost about $950 a month for a studio, $1,050 to $1,250 for a one bedroom and $1,500 for a two bedroom.
- One bedrooms will likely range from 690 square feet to 900 square feet.
- There will be a half-acre, grass-covered courtyard in the center of the two buildings that residents will be able to enjoy. “I want to be able to put grass in the middle so anybody’s kids or dogs can roll around and have a good time,” one of the Klodt planners said. Trees will line the edges of the courtyard, and there will be barbecue grills for residents to use.
- The courtyard will not be closed off to pedestrians passing through.
- Residents will be able to store their bicycles in one of three rooms set aside specifically for that purpose.
- The building will be extremely secure—with key fobs required to access most areas, numerous security cameras watching the building and an LED panel in the managers office that shows which doors are open. “I will bet you won’t have a building in Hopkins as secure as this one when we’re done with it,” Bell said.
- Cars will be able to park in an underground ramp whose entrance will be on first street south.
- Klodt expects to submit plans to the city by the end of the month. The Zoning and Planning Commission will review those plans at the end of July, and the City Council will consider them Aug. 6.
- Demolition will take place in February, and workers will break ground as soon as conditions allow.
- Units in the first building will be on the market in April 2014. Units in the second building will be available in September 2014 or March 2015, depending on whether Klodt decides to continue construction through the winter.
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