After pulling its land use applications twice—and much public outcry—Ron Clark Construction & Design is proposing a new Pillsbury Commons design plan that would include 18 townhome units and 52 apartment units.
Before the redesign, the developer designed 70 workforce apartment units, with four stories facing 77th Street and two stories facing Pillsbury Avenue. While 70 units are still being proposed, the project now shows five separate buildings—four of which are townhome structures. The 52-unit apartment building is adjacent to 77th Street, while one townhome building faces Pillsbury Avenue and the other three line the entrance driveway on the west side of the property. All units will still be 100 percent workforce housing. All the townhomes feature two and three bedrooms.
The developer’s second land use application included a request to purchase additional city-owned land and include it in the planned unit development proposal. The additional land would’ve allowed the project to be considered medium-density rather than high-density housing. Those neighbors against the project had cited their concerns about having a high-density development become part of the neighborhood. Ron Clark was criticized for this and soon after pulled the applications Friday, April 13—just four days before a public hearing on the applications. *The new application does propose the purchase of that land.
"Our goal was to put as many townhome units on the site ... and reduce the apartment building as much as we can," Ron Clark told Richfield Patch Monday. "And that's what we ended up with. ... It will fall into medium-density now."
While all townhomes will be workforce housing unites, their addition seems to go back to Council Member Fred Wroge's comments about the developer's original plans to have owner-occupied townhomes. At the joint session immediately following Ron Clark's second application pull, Wroge said: "I was so supportive of you when you wanted to come here and bring those [owner-occupied] townhomes. I think you should look at getting back to that.”
Now that new applications and design plans have been submitted, the clock starts moving forward again. A public hearing regarding the zoning amendment and planned unit development proposal is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. May 29. Other readings and considerations will follow on June 12 and June 26.
The architectural plans, civil plans and zoning application have been attached to this article as PDFs.
Other recent Pillsbury Commons stories:
- Richfield Commoners United Responds to Criticism
- Long-Time Resident Stands Up For Pillsbury Commons
- School Officials: 'Anyone Who Walks Through Those Doors Are Our Kids'
- Commissioner: 'We're All Dressed Up With No Place to Go'
- Ron Clark Pulls Land Use Applications
For more stories on the project, see Richfield Patch’s Pillsbury Commons topic page.
Has your opinion on the project changed with these new plans? Take our poll below and tell us why in the comments section.
Editor's Note: The purchase of the city's mortuary site is in fact on the new application. The drawing plan, however, did not illustrate this. After speaking with Mr. Clark, we've made the clarification. We have also clarified Wroge's position on townhomes for the area.