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$24.7M senior housing project in Alexandria seeks tax break

The first phase of the project would be a 50-unit building for seniors aged 55 and older.

Broadway Garden Estates.jpg
Broadway Garden Estates plans to provide 130 units of senior housing in two buildings south of 34th Avenue.
Drawing courtesy of Cole Group Architects
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ALEXANDRIA – A $24.7 million project to build a two-phase 130-unit, multi-family housing facility is seeking tax help.

Broadway Garden Estates would be located at 3509 South Broadway and 20 percent of the units would be restricted to households with incomes at or below 50% of the area median income.

At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council voted to set a public hearing on Monday, March 27 to consider Broadway Garden Estates’ application for tax increment financing.

With TIF, the taxes on the property are frozen at the current amount for a certain period of time, in this case the developer is requesting up to 26 years, although the council generally limits the time for housing projects to 13 years, according to Nicole Fernholz, executive director of the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission. The difference between the existing tax and the tax after the development is used to help pay for some of the project. The city benefits because property is being developed that otherwise would not have been improved. Also, the value of the property will increase, adding to the city’s tax base.

The first phase of the project would be a 50-unit building for seniors aged 55 and older. The second phase would include 80 units for senior or general occupancy. The buildings will be located east of South Broadway and south of 34th Avenue, just north of Lakewood Terrace.

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In its application, the developer said the project would provide senior housing options to meet pent-up demand, increase the city’s tax base with new improvements, and redevelop blighted property.

The project would also create at least seven new full-time jobs.

Broadway Garden Estates currently manages two apartment buildings in Alexandria – Bridgewater Estates and The Legacy of Alexandria .

The developer and lead investor for the project is INH Properties , which has 41 years of experience in multi-family housing and manages more than 7,000 units throughout the state.

All roads and common area elements would be constructed and maintained by INH.

Construction is set to begin by April or May and the phase one unit would open by August 2024. The phase two building would begin in the fall of 2024 and would open by late 2025.

At its Dec. 27 meeting, the council approved the developer’s request for a planned unit development, a conditional use permit, zoning district amendment and a final plat. The land is currently zoned as general business and single and two-family residential.

The property owner is Sally Harberts of Alexandria. The application lists James Illies of Waite Park as the developer for Broadway Garden Estates. Nyberg Surveying and Landteam are partnering in the project.

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Infield turf bid accepted for baseball field

The infield turf at Knute Nelson Memorial Park will soon be replaced.

The council accepted a $262,291 bid from Sourcewell FieldTurf and a $396,800 bid from Rachel Contracting LLC, for the underground work.

The improvements will help the field drain better and there will no longer be muddy areas that form after heavy rains.

The project will start no earlier than Aug. 1, 2023 and must be completed and turned over to the city no later than Oct. 31, 2023.

The project will replace the artificial turf that was installed in 2008.

The total cost of the project is $659,091. Alexandria Youth Baseball Association plans to contribute $200,000, which will include one or two naming rights agreements. The rest of the money, $459,091, will likely come through a variety of sources – the city’s Revolving Improvement Fund, the city’s municipal liquor fund and private financing.

Three final plats approved

The council approved three final plat requests for the following projects:

  • The Alexandria Technical and Community College Foundation plans to build a four-story, 60,000-square-foot student housing building. The new 150-bed building would be located next to the college on the old Jefferson High School site on the southeast corner of 15th Avenue and Jefferson Street. More student housing is needed, according to the city and college leaders. The college’s first student housing project, Foundation Hall, has had 100% occupancy in its 150-bed capacity for each year since it opened in 2011. The new student housing building will mimic the look of Foundation Hall.
  • Good Neighbors Addition’s final plat was revised to create three lots. It also plats a public street, Pennsylvania Street, that will connect County Road 46/34th Avenue to the southeast corner of the lot. The developer will be responsible for routine maintenance until the street is provided with a second connection to County Road 46 or to Nevada Street. The 123.13-acre property is the site of the SunOpta warehouse that’s under construction near County Road 46/34th Avenue West, east of the intersection with County Road 45.
  • Douglas County Plat 3, a 20-acre portion of the land owned by Reed and Kay Hvezda, will be combined with land in Lake Mary Township north of Lake Andrew and sold to Douglas County. The county plans to use it to store road materials such as sand, gravel and salt.

Another Art in the Park awaits

In the dead of winter, here’s a sign of warm things ahead. The council issued a special event permit to Andria Theatre to hold its annual Art in the Park festival on July 29-30.

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The fundraiser at City Park is expected to draw more than 1,000 participants.

Law enforcement will help control traffic and the theater will have parking attendants and staff patrolling the park.

The council also issued a community festival liquor license for the event.

THC license for Nice Juicery

After a public hearing, Nice Juicery at 203 6th Ave. East received a license to sell products containing THC.

In a memo to the council, City Attorney Tom Jacobson said there wasn’t any disqualifying information in the application, which was submitted by the owner, Patrick Sieve.

Customers will need to show a valid ID to purchase the products, which will be stored during business hours behind a sales counter in a cooler. At the end of the day, products will be placed in a locked cooler in the kitchen.

As with other THC licenses, there is a $500 annual fee and a $500 investigation fee for initial applications.

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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