Blaine City Council approves 182-unit apartment complex

A new, large apartment complex is slated to come to Blaine.

The Blaine City Council March 7 approved a conditional use permit and a property rezoning in its comprehensive plan to allow the construction of a 182-unit apartment complex in southern Blaine.Courtesy of city of Blaine

The Blaine City Council March 7 approved a conditional use permit and a property rezoning in its comprehensive plan to allow the construction of a 182-unit apartment complex in southern Blaine.Courtesy of city of Blaine

The Blaine City Council March 7 unanimously approved a conditional use permit for a 182-unit apartment complex next to the Teamsters Local 120 building just north of Clover Leaf Parkway and west of Ulysses Street in southern Blaine.

According to Planning and Community Development Director Bryan Schafer, this would be the single largest apartment building in Blaine, but not the biggest project. Carriage Oaks Apartments, which includes several buildings, has 336 housing units.

Schafer said this new apartment property was part of a three-lot plat the council approved in 2007 to accommodate construction of the Teamsters building. The other two lots never developed.

The landowner informed the city that it was difficult to market these sites to commercial developers because of the setback from Highway 65, he said.

To accommodate the new apartment building, the council March 7 had to rezone the property from planned industrial/planned commercial to high density residential in its comprehensive plan.

The biggest concern the council had to address was the number of parking stalls.

Paul Tucci of Oppidan, which is the investment company representing the site owner and building developer Baldwin Partners, said the Teamsters and the developer signed an parking easement in November 2007 that stated that a future development would allow the Teamsters to use 50 parking stalls 12 times a year during the monthly Teamsters meetings.

According to Schafer, there would be 170 parking stalls in an underground garage, which equates to one stall per unit for the one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The studio apartments will not get an underground stall.

There will be 255 additional outdoor parking stalls. Included in this total are 16 stalls that city staff asked the developer to add once it learned that the Teamsters would be allowed to use up to 50 of the apartment’s outdoor parking spots for overflow parking during the Teamsters’ meetings.

Baldwin Partners may eventually have to construct 36 more stalls if there are enough complaints of inadequate parking. The site plan shows an area where these stalls could go.

Right now the Teamsters are able to utilize part of the Northern Tool and Equipment lot or the service road for overflow parking, Schafer said.

Tucci and Katrina Joseph, attorney for Teamsters Local 120, told the council March 7 that the two sides are working on fine-tuning the parking agreement between the Teamsters and Baldwin Partners.

“Obviously when you have a development like this where the parking lots are essentially going to be one and the same, there’s concerns on our part about liability issues, there’s concerns, of course, on the developer’s part about our folks using their property,” Joseph told the council.

During the Feb. 12 Planning Commission meeting, Joseph said the Teamsters recommended that the commission and council not allow the apartment building.

According to Joseph, it would not be conducive to the union’s business or with the surrounding businesses because of the parking concerns.

Due to the uncertainty at the time about what the parking arrangement would be between the apartment building and the Teamsters, the commission actually forwarded Baldwin Partners’ conditional use permit request to the council without making a recommendation.

Joseph told the council March 7 that the union and developer did not believe they could reach an agreement about how the property should be developed, so the Teamsters chose to focus on the parking issue.

According to Tucci, there will be 90 one-bedroom, 74 two-bedroom, six three-bedroom and 12 studio apartment units. They do not plan to put in laminate countertops, but a nicer product, Tucci said.

The prices for the units could range from $795 to $825 per month for the studio apartments or $1,475 to $1,550 per month for the three-bedroom apartments.

“These are going to be higher-end units that we’re planning,” Tucci said.

The building would include a community room and exercise room. A large sun deck and whirlpool area are planned for the rear of the building. There will be a playground on the northwest corner of the site and a trail on the north side. Each unit will have a balcony and will be for a fireplace.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

  • Blainecitizens4smartgrowth

    An apartment complex would be welcome on the Ball Road property or a Senior apartment complex instead of the proposed Super Walmart that will destroy our neighborhood. Why doesn’t Mr. Schafer pitch that to Mr. Harstad?

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