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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Downtown apartment construction starts Oct. 1

MetroPlains Development, the company that's building that apartment complex across North Third Street from the Ryan House will start construction Oct. 1.

The company's marketing manager Ann Daly says so.

It's gonna be a pretty hip development, especially when you consider they got state and city incentives to hit the low- to moderate-income demographic.

For starters, the 40-unit complex, to be named "The Current," is aimed at the 20 to 30 age group. How could they resist? The place is down the street from a dozen bars and clubs.

Daly said the ambience is supposed to be like Starbucks. (What is it with Starbucks? Remember that proposal by Traie Dockter?)

The complex is to have its own exercise room and a community room with a big screen TV and big kitchen (after bar anyone?).

All of these references to drinking and partying is not gratuitous.

Here's the thing. The Current would attract a, shall we say, fun-loving population. Kitty corner from the apartments, you've got a slightly older and slightly less wild demographic. That would be the owners of the Elite Brownstone condos now under construction.

The situation near the apartments is already kind of, well, I don't think there's a problem but there are cop cars cruising back and forth in front of Uptown Downtown and Gilly's late at night on the weekends. Preventative security maybe. Still, I fear there might be a culture clash of some kind between the young and the not-quite-as-young.

We've had this problem before in the UND neighborhood where a few wild student renters got on the nerves of many homeowning families. Result: The homeowners demanded a zoning change to keep out the renters and the council complied.

What's done is done, but let's be clear here: The bars and their clients were here first.

On another tangent, I hadn't realized the depth of MetroPlains' holdings in Grand Forks until I checked out their Web site. Look at this portfolio. It's funny to see how much they've invested in senior housing. The Current looks like a major departure for them.

Update 3:49 p.m., 8/11/06: If you're curious about the incentives that MetroPlains will get for the apartments, it's on page 5 of the City Council packet PDF file. MetroPlains formed a company called MDI LP #110 to develop the apartments so that's the company that will get the incentives.

5 Comments:

Blogger Dave Miller said...

"The Current"? Is Al Gore behind this?

7:45 AM  
Anonymous RJT said...

Why can't these developers give us some renderings of what the new developments are supposed to look like on their websites? My fellow office mates and I are still trying to figure out what the Brownstones are going to look like, since we have a birds eye view of the construction. There was a great website that had the renderings and some clips of the Opera House Lofts. Why can't there be a website with the Brownstones, The Current, and other places? Maybe there is one???

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It wasn't a few wild students that resulted in University area residents getting a zoning change enacted. I can't believe you don't understand the issue after all this time. The council understood you can't let the developers destroy the family based housing and still have enough children to attend West Elementary and Valley Junior High. Students have been a welcome part of the neighborhood for a hundred years but not developers who want to take over the family dwellings to be able to pack 8 students into a house and charge each $400 rent. That is what the council had enough sense to put a stop to.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Dain Bramage said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Tu-Uyen said...

Anon, the most salient issue was the students. That is what homeowner after homeowner talked about when they came before the council. Halting the developers is a good rationale but it was not the one that drove the discussion. Which is why, besides the down zoning, the council also passed a bunch of other laws to screen tenants and curb partying.

2:52 PM  

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