Woodbury is planning to add more than 200 units of affordable housing in the city's southwest corner.
Woodbury City Council approved plans Wednesday for Plymouth-based property management company Dominium to build apartments and townhomes west of Radio Drive and south of Hargis Parkway. The lot will also eventually include an up to 70,000-square-foot medical building.
The development, currently called "The Grove" in planning documents, will include a four-story, 211-unit apartment building plus underground parking and private storage units. There will be 24 townhome units distributed over three buildings.
Mayor Anne Burt called it "important" that the area include affordable housing.
"The fact that we are bringing an affordable housing unit here for teachers and all kinds of people that want to live in a nice community and a nice place, have great housing available, I'm very pleased to see that we are bringing this to our community," Burt said.
Dwight Picha said the need for affordable housing for employees of area businesses is the "number one issue" he and Burt hear during business outreach meetings.
The development will only be available for individuals and families making less than 60% of area median income. The proposed rent amounts for each unit type are:
- One bedroom: $1,125 per month
- Two bedrooms: $1,350 per month
- Three bedrooms: $1,560 per month
The area median income for a household of four was $100,000 in 2019, according to the Metropolitan Council. To qualify for affordable housing, a family of four can make up to $75,500, or 80% of the area median income.
The apartment building and townhomes will be among the last projects built in the area zoned as an "Urban Village," a distinction that is meant to include a variety of housing types in close proximity to jobs, retail and other services. Planning of the area began in 2011 with a Livable Communities Demonstration Account (LCDA) grant from the Met Council.
Businesses within this particular Urban Village area include Jerry's Foods, City & County Credit Union, St. Therese of Woodbury senior living, Twin Cities Orthopedic, The Goddard School and 3rd Act Craft Brewery.
One criteria of the LCDA grant seemingly not met is access to transit. Though the area is largely walkable and bikeable, the closest existing public transit stop is 3-4 miles away.
In response to concern from a Planning Commission member, City Planner Eric Searles said the city is continuing to work with the Met Council on this issue and that feeder bus systems to the planned Gold Line bus rapid transit system are expected sometime around 2040.
Council member Steve Morris commended previous council members and staff for development of the area.
"This whole development just kind of works," Morris said. "This is like the perfect ending for these parcels."