SNG Community Development Committee
Matthews Center, 2318 29th Av. S.
January 10, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Introductions and approval of minutes. 7:10
Touchstone Project – Seward Commons Redevelopment The Phase I Touchstone project of the Seward Commons Redevelopment is now
fully funded. The Touchstone building will include 40 apartments for the
persistently mentally ill with on-site staff support, a Health and
Wellness Center and offices for Touchstone Mental Health. Touchstone’s
office move will bring a minimum of 40 existing jobs and 25 new jobs to
Seward. The project is scheduled to be under construction in the late
spring or early summer of 2012. The architect will present the current plans for the project at the
meeting. The committee is being asked to make recommendations on a
Conditional Use Permit and Variances being requested for the project.
Touchstone will be requesting variances for the rear yard setback, along
the bikeway, from 11 feet to 0 feet, and to reduce the width of the
driveway to 20 feet. The project partners are Seward Redesign, PPL and Touchstone Mental Health. 7:50
2307 Milwaukee Avenue Variance At the June 2011 meeting, the committee recommended approval of a porch
addition at 2307 Milwaukee Avenue. The plans presented to the committee
are attached. The addition was also approved by the Milwaukee Avenue
Homeowners Association and the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation
Commission. The city is now requiring the homeowner to obtain a setback
variance for the addition (see attached hearing notice). The property Is
part of a National Historic Preservation District and the first Planned
Unit Development (PUD) adopted by the city. 8:10
Semi Truck Parking on 26th Street A number of residents have expressed concern about Semi Truck
Some trucks have not been moved in 3-4 days and it is felt
they present a potential safety
hazard. Tadd Kelly, who lives on
Street will be at the meeting to discuss the issue. 8:30
SNG Housing Coordinator
City Council Member Gordon 8:40
Other Business 8:45
Adjourn. (The Park staff lock the outside doors at 9 p.m. so all
attendees must exit). Draft Minutes
Community Development Committee
December 13, 2011 Attending: Ken Webb (meeting chair), Bob Hain, Robert Gratz, Garry Hesser,
Scott Henderson, Ben Walen , Laura Miller, Jesse Miller, Chris Wilson
(PPL), Sheldon Mains (SNG Board Co-President), Brian Miller (Redesign),
Doug Wise (SNG Housing Coordinator) and Robin Garwood (Council Member
The minutes for the November meeting were approved.
Update on Touchstone Project Seward Commons Redevelopment
Brian Miller from Redesign introduced the upcoming phases in the Seward
Commons redevelopment. Construction on Phase 1, the Touchstone building,
is planned to start in the Spring of 2012. Phase 2 will be a senior
housing building developed by CommonBond Communities; groundbreaking on
this will be at least 1 ½ years away. Also coming in May 2012 is the new
Bike/Walk Center, which will occupy the building at 1915 22nd St E. Sheldon Mains briefly described the Bike/Walk Center.
Chris Wilson from PPL presented site plans and renderings of the
Touchstone project located at the southernmost portion of the Seward
Commons site, at the intersection of 24th St and Snelling, adjacent to the
LRT bike trail. PPL is the real estate developer of the project, and
Touchstone will operate the building and its programs. The front door of
the project will face the LRT trail and 24th St. It will contain an
underground parking garage, with the entrance to the garage from a
driveway off of Snelling on the North-West side of the building.
The facility will have 3 components: 1. Housing, 2. Health and Wellness
Center & 3. Touchstone offices. The Health and Wellness center will be
open to Touchstone clients, both residents and non-residents of the
building, and will include a smoking cessation program, acupuncture,
massage therapy and other treatments. The overall design is focused on
helping people “get well.” It includes natural daylight and “neighborhood”
clusters within the housing.
The building will be equipped with solar panels and a variable refrigerant
heating system. The grounds will include storm-water collection. The
wellness center will be on the first floor, housing will be on floors 1-4,
and Touchstone offices will be on floors 2 & 3. The project will cost
$11.5 million, and is now fully funding.
Potential residents were surveyed by the developers; they said they want
the housing to feel “homey.” The building was designed with a sloped roof,
as flat roofs were mentioned as too institutional. There may be a small
barrier between the LRT trail and the courtyard, but otherwise desire is
to make courtyard seem open and inviting.
Exterior building materials will include stone and Hardy paneling, but
nothing is set yet, as construction bids still need to go out. Several
meeting attendees advocated for the use of stone throughout exterior.
Chris stated that they want to building to be finished with a high quality
look, as this is what the neighborhood desires.
The only zoning variance required is on the NW corner along the LRT trail,
where the building is designed to have no setback from the property line.
This wall will include residential windows. Chris believes there are 8-10
feet between actual trail and the property line, but will check to make
sure, as this could be an issue for clearing snow from the trail.
PPL will start the city permitting process in January. He will attend the
January CDC meeting with the project architect to formally present the
project to the neighborhood.
Brian stated that the new driveway on the NW side of the building will be
shared by Phases 1 & 2, which will require both phases to have the same
zoning. Phase 2 will require a 30% density variance to accommodate the
planned 60 residents. He sought an indication that SNG would be open to
this variance. Sheldon suggested Brian bring some preliminary plans for
Phase 2 to the next CDC meeting.
Brian stated that HUD has now approved $9 million in funding for Phase 2,
leaving $2.3 million to fund ($11.3 million total). Redesign is working
to find tenant(s) for the Koyi Sushi Too/Seward Post spaces at Franklin &
21st Ave. Redesign has had some discussions with prospective tenants, but
nothing to speak about yet publicly. Tenants are not necessarily
restaurants at this point, though that would be desirable given the
kitchen in the building. Redesign has a new staff member Renee, a grad
of the Humphrey Institute, will staff the business association and work on
other projects. The resident at “Carl’s House” at 904 30th Ave, and
Brian hopes they can get in there soon to see if they can renovate.
Doug Wise stated that last month’s CDC recommendations on SNG’s loan
programs were approved by the board and are now in effect.
Jesse Miller asked about the scheduled 22nd St connection to Cedar, and if
more traffic will be expected on 21st Ave S. Brian explained that at this
point the only change will be the connection to Cedar, with no additional
stop signs or signals added to Minnehaha.
Meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm.