Dozens of community members joined the Richfield City Council, Richfield Planning Commission and Richfield Housing and Redevelopment Authority Tuesday night to hear revised development plans for the .
The roughly $12.6 million development would see a multi-unit housing development built at the corner of 77th Street and Pillsbury Avenue. However, , with residents worrying about a possible decline in property values and rise in crime, and council members skeptical on the design of the property.
While city officials didn’t express any opposition for the development itself, the largest concerned seemed to be how prospective tenants would be considered for residency. Community members were not allowed to speak during the session.
Ron Clark Construction & Design representatives detailed that each applicant’s credit score, rental history and criminal record would be screened prior to moving in. However, more than wondering about the “history” of those who would be moving in, was adamant about making sure the development would serve those in Richfield first.
“My concern is that the people in Richfield qualify for this property,” he said. “I want to know if Richfield residents would get priority.”
“If you’re going to sell it as Richfield lifecycle housing and that doesn’t happen, shame on you,” he added as the large crowd responded with muffled claps.
Changes to the Design Plan
After gathering feedback from city staff and a Nov. 29, 2011 neighborhood meeting, developers made several changes to the design of the property including changing the parking lot access from Pillsbury Avenue to 76th Street, expanding the playground area and eliminating apartment entry from the street.
The building will also be designed with different elevations to fit better with the neighborhood: the portion of the building facing Pillsbury Avenue will be two stories, while the portion facing 77th Street will be four stories and hopefully act as a buffer to traffic noise.
The next step for developers will be to submit applications requesting tax increment financing and rezoning the property from industrial to high-density housing. At that time a formal development plan will also be submitted.
According to , director, the financing request will be reviewed by the housing authority, while the zoning portion will be looked at by the planning commission. The applications are due to the city at the end of January.
Stay tuned as Richfield Patch continues to gather information and viewpoints on this project.