A much-debated development near Lexington Parkway and University Avenue will go before the Saint Paul Planning Commission’s Zoning Committee for a site plan review at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, January 14. A recommendation on the site plan would then go to the full commission.

Typically, site plan reviews are conducted by city staff. However, years of controversy over the proposed development prompted the public hearing. Commission approval would be final unless the plan is appealed to the City Council.

The property at 411-417 N. Lexington Pkwy. has been owned for several years by the Wilder Foundation. Wilder has tried to sell the site for development in the past, but all previous projects have fallen through.

Minneapolis-based Alatus is proposing to construct a six-story, mixed-use building with 288 apartments, structured parking at grade level and beneath the building, and about 3,300 square feet for ground-floor retail, lobby and space for resident amenities. The developer is proposing a “blended affordability” at 60 percent of the area median income (AMI). Last year’s AMI in the Twin Cities ranged from $72,350 for one person to $103,400 for a family of four.

As of the Villager’s deadline, complete plans had not been posted by city staff. The plans released last year had an estimated cost of $59 million.

A flash point over past plans has been rental rates and their potential contribution to gentrification in the neighborhoods surrounding the site.

— Jane McClure


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