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UPDATED: Ron Clark Submits New Pillsbury Commons Design Plans

The city released the new design plans and application information Friday afternoon.

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.

, 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. 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. 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:

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.

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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.

Ghislaine Ball May 09, 2012 at 05:28 PM
What it looks like is irrelevant! It's still 100% income restricted.
Richfield Commoners United May 09, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I reviewed the city videos and the statement Fred Wroge said he would be happy to see the property owner occupied town homes and that was before the statement about crossing the river with a horse and ending up on the other side with a donkey...So I am not sure where that statement came from? but I am very sure this looks like a donkey....
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 09, 2012 at 09:23 PM
During the joint HRA, planning commission and city council meeting a couple weeks ago, after the Richfield native spoke about the plans moving forward Wroge made that statement. Yes. You're correct. Originally owner-occupied townhomes were proposed. I just felt that now that townhomes were being proposed again - regardless of it being workforce or owner-occupied - it was preferrable to many, especially Wroge.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 09, 2012 at 10:13 PM
On another look, I understand your point. I'll clarify that part of the article.
Richfield Commoners United May 10, 2012 at 02:36 AM
No worries as the Ron Clark story changes so often at least 4 times now...This is just basically the same idea...IT IS 100% section 42 in 5 buildings...what is he thinking that 5 buildings spread out like that would work. Make the project a 80% market rate and 20% section 42 housing units. Have him go back and re apply for a 80/20 situation. Richfield residents please call the city elected and ask them to vote NO on this project!!!!
Richfield Commoners United May 10, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Thank You Caitlin!!!
Paul Dietzler May 10, 2012 at 06:01 PM
The bad part about TIF is the city and school do not get money from taxes. The only people getting nay money is Ron Clark. Doesn't seem right.
Ghislaine Ball May 11, 2012 at 03:22 AM
i don't fault a business for trying to make money - but they should do it on their own merit - not with government handouts and at the expense of the rest of us who don't live in gated communities.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 03:26 AM
That's not entirely true Paul. This came up in a discussion a few weeks ago. Here is the full story (and comments) around the school/tax issue. http://patch.com/A-s4xx
Ghislaine Ball May 11, 2012 at 03:40 AM
let's not forget that he's already been awarded 10 MILLION dollars from MHFA towards the cost of a project estimated (estimated by him - no second bidder - no marketplace competion - no audit or oversight) to cost $12.6 million - and that's even before he's got the gall to ask the city for an additional $5-600,000 (and that was before the unveiling of "Clark's Cash-Cow Commons" 4.0 - no idea how much he's going to be telling us he needs now). Oh yeah - and on top of THAT - he's going to be grossing about $700,000 k/ year - seriously HOW did we get here!
Ghislaine Ball May 11, 2012 at 03:57 AM
As I understand it - the state taxes paid by the business that is proposed for this land go where hey are supposed to - but are then - given back to the business - whatever percentage that was agreed upon. Schools get their money from a different 'bucket' as it were.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Again, here is what John Stark wrote to me in regards to the TIF and schools: "If a TIF District were to be approved then the property owner would have a semiannual tax payment due on the entire value of the project. That tax payment would be sent to Hennepin County who would then return any portion that is considered 'tax increment' to the Richfield HRA to be distributed by them in accordance with whatever the TIF Plan and Redevelopment Agreement ultimately state. The taxes on the 'base value' of the property, however, are not considered tax increment and those taxes would be split up amongst all the taxing jurisdictions (including the Richfield Public Schools) at the same ratio that all other property taxes are divided by the taxing jurisdictions on all other properties."
Barry L. May 11, 2012 at 02:31 PM
So Caitlin, The RON Clark TIF was attached to a Cover Letter to city Of Richfield, Where is it? why is this not on line?
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Hmmm ... I must of missed it. I'll take a look back through the city's site.
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 02:54 PM
OK. I uploaded the PDF of the cover letter (found on the city's site). However, there are no attachments. It says that there should be attachments - with Exhibit D being the TIF request - but the cover letter is just three pages long ...
Caitlin Burgess (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 03:00 PM
BTW, just about to click approve on a new article outlining the tentative schedule going forward.
Barry L. May 11, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Keep asking as this needs to be in the public view not like some back room meetings that are being served to Ron Clark... Why isn't the TIF in front page?
Richfield Commoners United May 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM
"People have this idea that there are going to be people living there who don't have jobs and don't have income," said Stark, who specified that "affordable housing" is not the same as the much-stigmatized Section 8 housing. Plans at the Pillsbury development call for one Section 8 unit, Stark said.http://www.mnsun.com/articles/2011/11/22/headlines/ri24pillsbury.txt
Richfield Commoners United May 14, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Well it is up to 21 units now as the Ron Clark group said there is 21 units that are Section 8 affordable units. You see there is a pattern of mis understanding from City Staff or a clearly some one is not providing this in documents. All 3 bedroom units are available to section 8 vouchers.
Richfield Commoners United May 16, 2012 at 01:58 PM
At the May 8th City Council meeting it was revealed that members of the city council & HRA commission had been privately contacted by Ron Clark to discuss his new proposal. The topic was brought up when Fred Wroge announced that Ron Clark had called his private phone to request a meeting. Councilman Wroge declined Clark's request, Tom Fritzhenry also declined saying "If he has something to say he can say it to all of us." , When Wroge's 'outing' of Clark prompted Councilman Elliott's admission that he too had been contacted and met with Ron Clark, saying he would not apologize for behind closed door meetings.
Richfield Commoners United May 16, 2012 at 01:58 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTkQlULRBPs&feature=youtu.be MAY 8th , City Council Minute 30:16 Pat Elliott said "He believes that Ron Clark has access to him just like any other citizen of Richfield, and he dose not appoloigze for it", So Councilman Elliott who do you represent? Ron Clark or the citizens of Richfield
Richfield Commoners United May 16, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Given that Ron Clark Construction has received ample time to present their plans to the City Council, HRA and the Planning Commission in meeting after meeting it is very suspect that they would want to meet in round robin format with the HRA and City Council and circumvent Minnesota's Open Meeting Law. Where is the transparency with dealing with Ron Clark? Shouldn't his plans be discussed in the open? What does Ron Clark have to say to them about Pillsbury Commons that cannot be said in a public meeting? While it is unknown if Ron Clark Construction violated any laws, the ethics of this matter is certainly not becoming of a recipient of the Minnesota Business Ethics Award and someone who says, “Honesty, integrity and fair play have always been of utmost importance to us." Please contact members of the City Council and the HRA and let them know that meetings with Ron Clark Construction or their representatives outside of public meetings is not ok.
Richfield Commoners United May 29, 2012 at 02:35 AM
So Ron Clark pulls a another one... Lets take the Planning commission for a ride...with WE HAVE NOT FILLED OUT OUR APPLICATION AGAIN....Why will the city elected let Ron Clark jerk the city residents around...Now the VOTE for Planning Commission will be pushed back till June 25th...YEA right, and the city staff says ...?
Richfield Commoners United May 29, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Pillsbury Commons Process Hits Another Snag, So lets drag the city residents around and around, Thank you for being the developer you are. My be the city of Richfield will name a gift shop after you like they did in EDINA. for " AN excellent way to win hearts and minds developer" here in Richfield...oh yea we dont have a Art Gift shop but if you have your way we will have the very first SECTION 42 Shelter..Please visit http://ci.edina.mn.us/content/facilities/art_center/facilities/clark_gift_shop/index.htm
Richfield Commoners United June 01, 2012 at 03:28 PM
"So now we need to ask if TIF sheds some tax dollars to the school system. In all Ron Clark will only pay $3900. per year in taxes on the land for 30 years, what will the school get in cash for the next 30 years? The next question that should be asked is this, Kennisington Place on 76th and Lyndale was given $500K in up front TIF but now the courts have decided that Richfield was a second mortgage and we not getting one cent back ? How much did the school system loose on that one? Ron Clark is the only one walking away with the cash in hand!"
Richfield Commoners United June 06, 2012 at 02:07 AM
http://richfield.patch.com/articles/poll-does-the-city-know-what-it-s-doing-with-housing?ncid=newsltuspatc00000001
Richfield Commoners United June 13, 2012 at 08:06 PM
So Ron Clark has a rental Property and he has not paid rental Lic either? Let's see who will call and say why is Ron Clark getting things for free? http://www16.co.hennepin.mn.us/pins/addrresult.jsp Proerty ID#34-028-24-34-0049 Address:7600 PILLSBURY AVE S Taxpayer Name & Address: RICHFIELD PROPERTIES LLC, 7500 78TH ST W, EDINA MN 55439 Page 20 of 26...HUMMM do not see Ron Clark paying rental fee? WHY? http://www.cityofrichfield.org/permits/docs/Richfield___List_of_Rental_Properties.pdf

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