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Alexandria seeks more workforce housing; requests proposals from developers

The Alexandria City Council voted to invite developers to submit statements of qualifications to do the project, including design, construction, financing, ownership and project management.

The city of Alexandria is trying to address the need for affordable workforce housing.

At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council voted to invite developers to submit statements of qualifications to do the project, including design, construction, financing, ownership and project management.

Right now, the Alexandria Housing and Redevelopment Authority owns the site – a vacant parcel west of the recently built Central Lakes apartments on Runestone Avenue, just west of Birch Avenue. It abuts the Central Lakes Trail and is adjacent to County Road 82.

The site is zoned for apartment use.

This is the same process the city used to select a developer partner for the Central Lakes apartment project four years ago, according to City Planner Mike Weber.

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There is no financial impact on the city at this time. The developer would be responsible for securing the financing for the project.

In its request for qualifications, or RFQ, the city noted that the site is developer-ready.

“The city of Alexandria is seeking a developer who will assemble the comprehensive multidisciplinary team needed to bring this development to fruition,” the RFQ states. “The key objectives include establishing an attractive workforce housing development that complements the existing neighborhood properties.”

The multifamily building would be no higher than three stories above ground and include a variety of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units. The city said the building should also include an office and a community room.

In the RFQ, the city said it may require the project to be certified by Enterprise Green Communities. This could include solar, storm water retention, permeable pavement, the use of green building materials, energy-efficient appliances and low-water use landscaping.

The city will select a developer based on several factors, including capability and expertise, how the developer will approach the project, past performance, and knowledge of the city and its procedures as related to sustainable development and multifamily housing.

The city’s role in the project includes working with the developer to obtain local city or county financing resources; providing letters of support; and assisting with financing applications, if needed.

Proposals must be submitted to the city by Monday, Dec. 6. The council is expected to consider the proposals at its Dec. 13 meeting.

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Once selected, the developer may begin to secure financing. The city will work with the selected developer to determine the schedule for construction and occupancy.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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