Duluth Mayor responds to Lincoln Park Flat changes

WDIO News first reported Monday that part of the Lincoln Park Flats apartment complex, opened less than a year ago as a residential apartment only facility, is now being converted into a boutique hotel.

Now, frustration, concern and questions are mounting after some tenants of the Lincoln Park Flats were given less than sixty days to move out. Some of the questions and concerns coming from top city leaders, including Mayor Emily Larson herself.

In a letter to councilors Tuesday the Mayor wrote, “The project was initially proposed as rental units, and as a city we utilized TIF to support its creation. Lincoln Park Flats is now re-envisioning the building use to include a floor of hoteling, which would decrease the housing unit commitment.”

Residents told WDIO News they were shocked at the announcement they would have to move out. Top city leadership appear to have mounting concerns as well.

Mayor Larson added, “This is not the project we signed up for when we issued TIF and it is now under legal review with our counsel.”

Former Duluth councilor Joel Sipress also expressing concern. He also sent a letter to councilors late Tuesday saying, “WDIO is reporting that the second story of the Lincoln Park Flats apartment building is being converted to a hotel with a number of residents to be displaced. As a former Duluth City Councilor who voted to approve this project, I find the news of this hotel conversion to be very disturbing.”

The company managing the apartment building told us –

“P&R Properties is converting the second floor of our Lincoln Park Flats into a boutique hotel, very similar to Enger Lofts which is also located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. We have been working with the tenants that wish to stay at Lincoln Park Flats to accommodate their move to upper floors. We have also given tenants more than the standard 60-day notice for this conversion to allow for any accommodation changes.”

Duluth city public information officer, Kelli Latuska told WDIO news that the developer is working within the terms of the development agreement.

This is a developing story and will be updated as new details are available.