Tax breaks on table for mixed-use Roseville development


The Boaters Outlet site, as it’s called by Roseville city officials, between Fairview and Snelling avenues on County Road C, could become a mixed-use development of housing and retail. Though still in the early planning stages, the Roseville Economic Development Authority voted July 15 to support the redevelopment with $7.5 million of tax increment financing. (Mike Munzenrider)

The Roseville Economic Development Authority voted July 15 to back city financial support for a proposed development that would turn a forgettable stretch of County Road C into mixed-use housing and retail.

The authority, which is the Roseville City Council acting under a different name, gave preliminary approval to $7.5 million in tax increment financing that would help pay for the planned $130 million housing portion of the 21-acre development. 

Tax increment financing works by taking the new cash generated by expected increases in property taxes following a property’s redevelopment and funnels that money back into the development to cover costs.

Developer Dominium is proposing to build 224 units of affordable family housing and 252 units of affordable senior housing, which would be fronted by retail, on the north side of County Road C between Fairview and Snelling avenues at what city officials are referring to as the Boaters Outlet site.

The commercial portion of the development in that 1700 block of the county road would be some 56,000 square feet, and include a co-op grocery store along with other retail, developed by Launch Properties. Launch is not seeking the city’s financial support for its part of the proposal.

“It’s going to be a big improvement when you’re done,” council member Jason Etten told representatives from the developers ahead of the 5-0 vote of support.

With the preliminary approval, there are still more steps to go at the city for the proposal to move forward, with a need for the developers to present more detailed plans to obtain needed permitting and other city approvals.

 

Meeting needs

Currently used for temporary storage, bus and vehicle maintenance and other industrial-like uses, as described in city documents, the redevelopment would rework 1705, 1717, 1743 and 1755 County Road C.

The addresses, from west to east, are between what’s been dubbed the Roseville Design District and the shopping center anchored by Lunds & Byerlys.

Jeanne Kelsey, the city’s housing and economic development program manager, told the authority the proposed redevelopment meets four needs as identified in the city’s comprehensive housing needs assessment carried out in 2018.

She said it would create active adult age-restricted affordable housing; affordable rental townhome-style housing; potentially add amenities or public improvements to the neighborhood; and meet a priority of creating mixed-use development in the city.

A representative from Dominium said the company was taking a “very long-term mindset” with the development and that the rents for units in both buildings would be set at 60% of the area’s median income. 

That means a household that makes just under two thirds of that median income would spend less than 30% of its monthly take-home cash on rent.

Dominium is seeking public support for the development in order to make it financially viable to charge below market-rate rents.

The Dominium rep said both the four-story family building and the five-story senior building would have underground parking along with other amenities including clubhouses, fitness rooms and other community spaces. There would be outdoor spaces for kids included with the family building.

A representative from Launch told the authority he expected the commercial side of the development to be near 100% occupied upon its completion.

He said talks have centered on bringing in a grocery store co-op that has a presence on the west side of the metro into a 22,000-square-foot anchor space, while another 30,000 square feet of space would be devoted to restaurants, service retail or health care uses.

 

Trail, transit and traffic

The authority was also tasked July 15 with deciding whether it would want to incorporate a public improvement project into the tax increment financing ask, which would be carried out in conjunction with a Rice Creek Watershed District water management project.

A drainage ditch that runs through the development area could be converted into a pipe and a public trail could be built atop it, city staffers told the authority. The developers would carry out construction of the path, assuming the watershed district were able to install the pipe. Redevelopment of the area means easy access to the ditch.

Community Development Director Janice Gundlach said the trail, on the high end, could cost $1.8 million, which would include paving, new plants and lighting. 

With the authority opting to include the trail, it supported up to $7.5 million in tax increment financing for the development collected over 18 years.

Authority/council members, with the development still in the planning stages, raised few concerns, though they did wonder about the development’s affects on traffic in the area and its access to transit.

Council member Jason Etten said that while there are transit hubs nearby — Rosedale Center and the park and ride off Interstate 35W — the bus options on County Road C are infrequent and its intersection with Snelling Avenue is one of the busiest in the city.

That busy intersection and the existing congestion were concerns raised by Mayor Dan Roe, though he was optimistic that the developers would find ways to mitigate the issues as the planning process goes on.

“I think this [development] has a lot more potential to be successful and be done in a way that deals with some of those traffic issues,” said Roe.

 

–Mike Munzenrider can be reached at mmunzenrider@lillienews.com or 651-748-7813.

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