$36 Million Housing, Retail Development Planned for Duluth | www.WDIO.com

$36 Million Housing, Retail Development Planned for Duluth

October 24, 2014 06:16 PM

Alongside Harbor Bay Real Estate Developers, city leaders announced plans Friday for a $36 million mixed-use, luxury, multifamily and retail project on London Road and 21st Ave. E. in Duluth. 

Construction is expected to start spring 2015 on the 148-unit apartment building that will also house four or five retail spaces, developers said. 

Duluth Mayor Don Ness said while these apartments will be luxury, market rate units, he said it will still lend a hand to solving Duluth's affordable housing issues. 

"It will also help the folks who are looking for the more affordable units because there are folks that would love to be in these apartments that are currently right now in other more affordable units," Ness said. "They're going to move up into these units and make those other units more available for the young professional and for the students."

A city study earlier this spring showed Duluth that it needs to add nearly 4,400 housing units. Ness said this is a good early step.

"It's about the health of our entire housing market. No question that this development is going to benefit folks and even those who aren't going to end up living here there will be benefited across the housing market and across the community," Ness said. 

Since the property is on a downhill slope, Developer Mark Bell said they plan to use that in their design to make sure they don't obstruct any views of Lake Superior. Looking at the property from London Road, it will be 31-feet tall with three levels at the building's front and six as it moves back toward the lake. 

Developers said it's too early to estimate rent, but they did say they hope to appeal to a variety of budgets. Ness said city leaders are talking about using tax increment funding to help this project. 

There will be parking for the retail spaces in front of the complex, while tenants will have 270 underground spaces available to them. According to developers, the projects amenities will include a large outdoor deck overlooking Lake Superior, an outdoor kitchen, barbecues, seating areas, cabanas, fireplaces and landscaping elements. 

City Communication and Policy Director Daniel Fanning said three affordable housing projects in Duluth were awarded some of the $162 million the Minnesota Housing Finance Committee is granting to projects throughout the state. 


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