Newly announced delays in completing the Southwest LRT project don’t appear to be discouraging plans to build an Eden Prairie apartment complex near one of the LRT stations.
The Eden Prairie City Council on Tuesday, March 1, gave approval to the 425-apartment Blue Stem North project that would be within walking distance of the Golden Triangle LRT Station under construction along West 70th Street in the Golden Triangle industrial area of northeastern Eden Prairie.
Its developer said that, while proximity to the LRT station is a factor in the project, it is local demographics as well as the large adjoining wetland, nearby park trails, and other outdoor amenities that will likely make the project attractive to renters.
If you look at the demographics of this whole southwest corridor … the demographics check really well for rental,” said Josh Brandsted, managing partner and president of Greco Properties, the developer of Blue Stem North.
But a key, he said, “is the connectivity to local amenities, and specifically this site, the connectivity to the outdoors. I don’t know that you could find a better site in the Twin Cities.”
“The light rail connectivity is definitely a plus,” he added. “I think we’d still be here even if light rail wasn’t here.”
The Metro Council recently said passenger service on the Southwest LRT line between Minneapolis and Eden Prairie won’t begin until 2027 because of construction delays. Nevertheless, Brandsted said Greco Properties is planning to break ground on the first phase of its project next August and begin the second phase in February 2023.
“We actually would like to move forward sooner than we originally planned to, given the volatility of the construction market right now, and the costs,” said Brandsted.
The plan’s first phase calls for 237 apartment units in buildings four and five stories high. The second phase would be 188 units in buildings four, five, and six stories high. Apartments would range from a 485-square-foot studio apartment to a 1,500-square foot, three-bedroom apartment.
The developer will also be seeking tax-increment financing from the city to help make 25 percent of the apartment units affordable to persons who meet various income guidelines.
Mark Weber is executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation.