Ryan Companies has proposed to build a five-story, 211-unit apartment building northwest of the intersection of Valley View and Topview roads, which is about a block east of Home Depot and across Valley View from the Holiday Stationstore.
It’s the third apartment project reviewed by the City of Eden Prairie over the last seven months. The 425-unit Blue Stem North, near an under-construction light-rail-transit station in northeastern Eden Prairie, was approved by the city in March. A 239-unit project called The Ellie was approved for construction north of Smith Coffee & Café in December.
The undeveloped property eyed by Ryan Companies is earmarked in the city’s Guide Plan for office development. It requires a Guide Plan change to multi-family residential for the project to be built.
As proposed, the project also needs a waiver from city parking requirements. Because the project has a shortage of parking, city staff have recommended the developer get a perpetual agreement with existing offices next door to use their parking lots for apartment dwellers’ visitor parking.
An additional factor is that access to the apartment complex would be limited to right-in, right-out access on Valley View. The existing median on Valley View Road and proximity to the nearby stoplight intersection at Topview Road/Plaza Drive would prevent left-hand turns into and out of the project.
However, the median in front of the apartment complex would be altered so that fire trucks and other emergency vehicles could turn into the property when coming from the west.
Despite those hurdles, the project was endorsed Monday, June 27, by the Eden Prairie Planning Commission. The commission advises the Eden Prairie City Council, which will review the proposal next.
Reflecting Monday evening’s protracted debate over parking and access, Commissioner William Gooding called the project “borderline, but doable, in my mind.”
Ryan Companies is seeking tax-increment financing (TIF) help from the city to ensure that 25 percent of the units can be set aside for renters who meet low-income requirements.
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