Mounds View motel site could be turned into senior, affordable apartments

Mounds View motel site could be turned into senior, affordable apartments Main Photo

3 Feb 2020

Ramsey County, Redevelopment

Representatives from Augusta Development and MWF Properties have shared their vision with a seemingly receptive Mounds View City Council. 

By Shannon Prather Star Tribune

The Skyline Motel in Mounds View was considered such an eyesore and nuisance that the city purchased it and then took it down via a controlled burn last summer, with an eye toward redevelopment.

Now a pair of Twin Cities developers say they’d like to buy the property along with a neighboring parcel on Old Hwy. 8 to build two apartment buildings there — one for seniors and another for working-class people and families. The two developments would be valued at an estimated $48 million.

Representatives from Augusta Development and MWF Properties shared their vision for the 5.4-acre site with a seemingly receptive Mounds View City Council at a work session last month.

“MWF was really great to work with on a previous project and they built a very good quality development,” Mayor Carol Mueller said at a recent meeting of the Mounds View Economic Development Authority.

City staffers will work with the developers to draft the deal, which could go before the City Council soon for approval. The development deal would be structured to allow for the expansion of two neighboring businesses, Bauer Welding and Bioclean, said Assistant City Administrator Brian Beeman.

Augusta Development wants to build 100 units of market-rate senior apartments on the northern portion of the site, including independent and assisted living as well as memory care. It has built similar developments across the Twin Cities and would like to break ground in Mounds View as early as this summer.

MWF Properties wants to build 96 units of workforce housing on the eastern portion of the site where the Skyline Motel sat. The property is visible from Interstate 35W.

One wrinkle: Construction of the workforce apartments hinges on affordable-housing tax credits, which MWF hopes to obtain in 2021.

MWF also is seeking tax-increment financing from Mounds View. City leaders said they will wait at least a year for MWF to obtain those tax credits, and expressed support for more quality affordable-housing options.

MWF recently completed Boulevard, a 60-unit workforce housing apartment building in Mounds View, which is already full.

Both the senior and workforce apartment buildings would rise four stories and include some underground parking, representatives of the developers said. The city would recoup $1.8 million that it’s invested in the property.

The blighted Skyline motor lodge had logged more than 100 police calls in a year’s time. The Mounds View Economic Development Authority bought the building last year, and it was taken down in a controlled burn that served as a training exercise for firefighters.