East Bank's Phoenix Lofts clear city hurdle

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April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Phoenix Lofts, an upscale 15-story East Bank condo tower proposed near the Pillsbury "A" Mill, has cleared a key City Council committee.

The proposal by East Bank-based developer Schafer Richardson cleared the City Council's Zoning and Planning Committee Aug. 12. The full City Council was expected to review the proposal Aug. 20 -- after this issue of Skyway News went to press.

The Phoenix Lofts would feature a five-story building along Main Street designed to blend in with the neighborhood's historic milling surroundings. The 15-story tower would rise at the corner of 2nd Street Southeast & 3rd Avenue -- in line with the grain elevators to the east near the "A" Mill.

Combined, the Phoenix buildings would house 150 residential units, 6,000 square feet of retail and 220 parking spaces, according to an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW).

The tower's faade would include metals designed to reflect the area's milling and industrial roots, according to a statement by the project's architect, ESG Architects, Inc., 500 Washington Ave. S.

If the full Council approves the project, developers plan to break ground this year and complete construction by spring 2006, said David Frank, a Schafer Richardson project manager.

He said unit prices haven't been set. "It's still a little soon. I'd describe them as moderate to upper [prices]," he said.

The Phoenix Mill, a hydropower flour mill later converted to a rye mill, operated on the site between 1875 and 1956. Most recently, a Pillsbury data center was located there.

Schafer Richardson is planning a massive nine-building housing development east of Phoenix Lofts. The City Council directed the developer earlier this summer to undergo a more rigorous environmental review before breaking ground on more than 1,000 condos planned along Main Street between 3rd and 6th avenues.

New condos would go into a refurbished "A" Mill and in nine new towers planned for the old milling site.