Four-story building to be built into bluff near West 7th-Saint Paul Avenue
By Jane McClure
A 36-unit, four-story apartment building for low-income seniors is being proposed near West Seventh Street and Saint Paul Avenue. The Highland District Council’s Community Development Committee agreed on July 21 to send a letter of support to city officials on behalf of the nonprofit Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC), which is seeking Low-Income Housing Tax Credits for the project.
The 36-unit building would be constructed in the side of the bluff behind the Highland Chateau Health and Rehabilitation Center at 2319 W. Seventh St. The first floor would include a lobby and community space as well as eight parking spaces. Above that would be three floors with a mix of 15 studio and 21 one-bedroom apartments.
Twenty-seven of the units would be affordable to households making 30 percent of the Twin Cities area’s median household income (AMI), with the remaining nine units affordable to those making 50 percent of AMI. (The 2019 AMI for a family for four is $100,000.) Seven units would be earmarked for residents who have been homeless. Partners in the development include Catholic Charities and Health Dimensions Group, which is the owner-operator of Highland Chateau.
Twenty-seven of the units would be affordable to households making 30 percent of the Twin Cities area’s median household income (AMI), with the remaining nine units affordable to those making 50 percent of AMI.
The site is an outlot of Highland Chateau, which would share its amenities and services with residents of the new building, including meal service. The 64-room Highland Chateau serves as a short-term residence for those needing rehabilitation services and skilled nursing care.
Dan Walsh, CHDC’s vice president for housing development, said the site needs a zoning change before the project can proceed. Variances may also be needed, but the extent of those will not be known until development plans are completed. The health and rehabilitation center property is zoned for medium-density multifamily use and the property around it is zoned for single-family use.
According to Walsh, the CHDC was founded in 1991 with the goal of providing stable, affordable rental housing. More than three-fourths of CHDC households earn less than 30 percent of the AMI.
The CHDC works with social service agencies to provide support services for residents. Its local projects have included the renovation of four historic Fort Snelling buildings, the new Catholic Charities Opportunity Center in downtown Saint Paul and a partnership with Rondo Community Land Trust to develop affordable housing in two buildings on Selby Avenue.
“We look to where the need is,” Walsh said. “Seniors are the fastest growing homeless population in Ramsey County.”
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