New developer possible for Elliot Park site

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November 29, 2004 // UPDATED 4:47 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

A developer may buy Elliot Park's Hinkle-Murphy block for a major new housing, retail and courtyard project.

The block between South 9th and 10th streets and Park and Portland avenues encompasses the historic Hinkle-Murphy Mansion, 619 S. 10th St.

St. Paul-based Heritage Development has teamed up with Warehouse District-based DJR Architecture on the new proposal, according to David Fields, the Building, Housing and Land Use (BLUH) coordinator for Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc. A purchase agreement is pending on the deal.

The Elliot Park project would be Heritage Development's first urban residential development. It has developed about a dozen single- and multifamily housing projects in the Twin Cities suburbs.

The St. Paul developer has also worked on projects in Indiana and has housing proposals planned in Wisconsin, Missouri, North Carolina and Florida.

If Heritage completes the deal, the sale would include:

- the Hinkle-Murphy Mansion,

- the Enger building, 1010 Park Ave. S., which currently houses the popular art gallery Outsiders and Others; and

- the Baker building, 609 S. 10th St., home to the new coffeehouse E.P. Atelier and Gallery Atitlan.

The new development would rise near the 27-story Grant Park condo tower, 500 E. Grant St. Another 26-story condo high-rise called Skyscape is also under construction at the corner of South 10th Street & Portland Avenue.

Project details, including its height and number of units, have not been announced.

The BLUH committee of Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc. voted Nov. 18 to create a special task force to work with the developer on the infill proposal if the purchase agreement is finalized.

Currently, the properties are owned by Glenda Key, who renovated the Hinkle-Murphy Mansion in the mid-1990s with then-husband Ron Bates, a former business executive active in historic preservation. Key currently lives in Texas.

Bates, a South Dakota resident, exercised an option Aug. 30 on the properties. His redevelopment plan for the block called for two 12-to-15-story condo towers with 300 units and 50 street-level townhomes. The proposal also included 26,000 square feet of commercial space.

Bates did not return phone calls for comment.