Coon Rapids’ Lyra and Nova apartment complexes will likely be joined by another market-rate apartment building, as well as affordable senior living apartments.

The City Council unanimously approved a non-binding term sheet for the second phase of the Riverdale Station Apartments March 16. The first phase included two apartment buildings that are now close to full occupancy, Community Development Director Grant Fernelius said. Nova is located at 3140 Northdale Blvd. NW, and Lyra is at 3120 Northdale Blvd. NW.

The first project within Phase Two will be a market-rate apartment building with plans for 210-227 units, Fernelius said. Designs are still being finalized.

“We are still working through the concept phases,” Trevor Martinez, of Sheridan Associates, said. “We’re hoping to get a full application in the six to eight week range.”

Martinez said typically the company would hold public meetings about a project like this and it is happy to “figure out a way to do that and share with the neighborhood virtually.”

The developer, Sherman Associates, plans to break ground by Nov. 30. After that, it will have 600 days to complete the apartment building.

The second project in Phase Two will be 80 affordable senior apartment units.

For the senior-living project, the developer needs to start work by Oct. 31, 2022. After that, Sherman Associates will have 500 days to complete it.

The city will need to create a tax increment financing district for the senior spaces, Fernelius said.

He said if the city provides assistance for the project, it must be for the senior living portion.

“We can’t provide assistance to a market-rate project, under state statute,” he said.

The developer will need to acquire the property from the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, as well as get land-use approval, he said.

Council Member Jennifer Geisler applauded the work Sherman Associates has done in the city.

“The two buildings there have been very successful, and I look forward to seeing what the possibilities are for the other half of the site,” she said.

Council Member Wade Demmer said that at one point he didn’t think the lot would ever be filled.

“When I first joined council [in 2014], it seemed like this was going to be an empty lot forever,” Demmer said. “I don’t know that we could have envisioned a higher or better use for it than what we ended up with. So kudos to everybody involved.”

In 2016 the city entered a purchase agreement to buy the 16-acre site adjacent to the Riverdale Transit Station on Northdale Boulevard to eventually develop multi-tenant apartment buildings. The HRA bought the site from the Railroad Authority for $2.3 million, and sold about half of the land to Sherman Associates for $1.5 million to develop the first two apartment buildings, Lyra and Nova, which have 196 market-rate units, as well as 55 income-restricted units. The city created a TIF district to generate financing for the income-restricted apartments.

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