Six stories and wide or a tall 21? Developer presents Loring condo options

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April 5, 2004 // UPDATED 1:09 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The architectural firm behind the award-winning Mill City Museum on Downtown's riverfront has partnered with a Wayzata-based developer on a condo development planned for 430 Oak Grove in Loring Park.

Paul Mellblom, the development project manager and an architect with Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, and Beacon Construction Co., are considering two different condo proposals for the parking lot adjacent to the offices at 430 Oak Grove.

"One of our objectives is to do a building that will fit into the neighborhood," he said. "It's just a great location. It's ... a very short walk off the park and near the [Walker Museum's] Sculpture Garden."

Tenants in the office building would not be displaced by the project, Mellblom said.

One plan calls for a 21-story tower with 120 condos -- an $18 million proposal. The other plan calls for a shorter and wider, six-story development with 75 units -- a $10 million plan.

Kim Havey, chair of the Citizens for a Loring Park Community Land Use committee, said most residents who reviewed the project at a March 22 meeting favored the plan with the tower.

The condos will cost between $200,000 and $400,000, he said. Plans call for studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom condos with flexible layouts.

The developers plan to secure a conditional-use permit from the city. Mellblom said they would not seek a city subsidy for the project.

As for design, he said the development's facade would reflect surrounding architecture in the neighborhood, blending in with the classical and Romanesque mansions on Oak Grove Street.

Preliminary renderings show a glassy faade with a bluish hue.

If the developer chooses to move forward with a 21-story tower, which would go up on the corner of Clifton Place and Oak Grove Street, plans call for two-story row houses at street level.

Both condo options would feature landscaping along Oak Grove Street, a community room, underground parking and a stepped terrace, among other amenities.