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On Tuesday, July 7 at 6 p.m. there will be an informational meeting at the former K-mart to learn about the proposed apartments at the site.
Last fall, the developer Dominium came to the city with two proposed apartment buildings for the former K-mart and bank sites. One building is a five-story, 246-unit senior independent living facility. The other is a four-story, 147-unit workforce housing complex. Both buildings will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom units with rents ranging from $1,100 to $1,600 per month.
The project will cost $123 million and includes a subsidy of $5 million in tax incremental financing (TIF) over 16 years. The proposal has changed a bit after negotiations over the subsidy in December and then the debate over the prevailing wage ordinance that surfaced in January and was settled in March.
In the most recent discussion with City Council, the developer revealed that they’re only able to move forward with the project due to interest rates dropping from the pandemic. They’re hoping to close the deal quickly to lock in interest rates and secure limited money from the Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA). If interest rates rise before the project is approved, it will likely fall through.
The city’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) will review the project on July 13. If they approve, it will go to Planning Commission on July 21 and City Council on July 27.
Some local residents—including Ward 2 City Council candidate Robyn Gulley—have raised concerns about Dominium’s business practices, pointing to a Dominium-owned complex in Brooklyn Park with a history of problems and complaints.
Nearly all city planning documents point to the need for more housing in West St. Paul.
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