A Minneapolis-based real estate company released its final proposal for the apartment building slated to replace the Stadium Bar Wednesday.
The Opus Group’s proposed apartment building is a mixed-use project that will be located at 1419 Monroe St., a space the Stadium Bar currently occupies, according to Ald. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, District 5. It will be a six-story building, with the first floor allocated for commercial space and the upper five stories for apartments, she said.
According to Bidar-Sielaff, the building will contain 72 apartment units in total, ranging from studio to four-bedroom apartments. The first floor will have two available retail spaces, one with outdoor seating, she said.
Bidar-Sielaff said the building is particularly targeted towards students.
“I think [the new building] will create more student rental units that are not available in that area right now,” Bidar-Sielaff said. “I am also hopeful it will provide additional businesses on the bottom floor that will be more student focused.”
Ald. Sue Ellingson, District 13, said she believes the building seemed like a responsible and worthwhile proposal. She said the tight location of the building is particularly significant.
In general, density is a good thing, Ellingson said. Density means there are more people living closer to work or school, so they can bike, bus or walk, instead of driving, she said.
Ellingson added the inclusion of commercial space has the opportunity to create more jobs in the area. Supporting jobs is a positive thing, she said.
However, Ellingson said her constituents expressed concern over the loss of the Stadium Bar when they first heard of the proposal.
Students like the Stadium Bar and the sand volleyball courts, Ellingson said. However, students need to understand this is a private transaction, and the business is not objecting to the sale, she said.
“It’s unfortunate that students will lose what is a pretty good gathering place, but the city doesn’t have any control over that,” Ellingson said.
From the Regent neighborhood perspective, the new building puts pressure on the capacity to absorb more traditional rental properties in the district, such as houses, Bidar-Sielaff said. She explained the proposed building will attract students and non-students may rent the vacated houses in the district.
“We’ve always been a mixed student and homeowner resident neighborhood,” Bidar-Sielaff said. “[The proposed building] could change the dynamic of the neighborhood.”
Bidar-Sielaff also highlighted the effect on affordable housing for students. The increase in high-end rental apartment buildings creates a lack of affordable off-campus student housing, she said.
However, the new plan already incorporated feedback from residents of the area, Ellingson said.
The plan originally called for a 10-story building, she said. The proposed building will also feature additional parking for the commercial space, another previous concern of the community, she said.
“The overall impact [of the proposed building] is likely to be positive for the city,” Ellingson said.
This is the beginning of the process for the proposal, Bidar-Sielaff said. It is a strong proposal and they have made many positive changes, she added.
The proposal will go before the Plan Commission on April 8 and if approved it will face Common Council later that month, Bidar-Sielaff said.