A mixed-use apartment building proposed at the current Chip and Putt location, 9010 Olson Memorial Highway, returned to the virtual desk of the Golden Valley City Council Dec. 15.
The project, called Golden Gardens, is anticipated to be a $24.7 million, six-story building with 78 apartments and office and commercial spaces.
When the project first came to council in August, developer Quad-Park Developments was seeking council approval of a $1 million grant application that would help fund the project.
This time, the developer was seeking preliminary approval of an application for tax-exempt bonds. The council did not discuss the proposal at the Dec. 15 meeting and approved the request in the consent agenda.
The application will be reviewed and considered for acceptance by the state’s Management and Budget department. According to an executive summary prepared by the Golden Valley Physical Development Department, the city does not take on debt, but acts as a “conduit and issues the bonds for the project.”
The developer hopes to be awarded tax-exempt bonding approval for 55% of the project cost, or $13,625,000.
The summary included that the state typically prioritizes existing affordable housing projects over new projects. Some level of commitment is required of the developer to apply, however; 2% of the bonding request ($272,000 refundable), a $2,700 nonrefundable application fee and a $5,000 fee for services from the Golden Valley bond counsel.
The developer is applying for the exemption because half of the apartment units would be affordable housing. If awarded the exemption, the developer will need to annually certify compliance of maximum rental rates of the rent-restricted units and the income levels for the residents of those units.
Half of the affordable units would be available to those who earn 60% of area median income, and the other half of the units to those who make 80% of area median income. A 425-square-foot studio apartment is expected to cost $1,000 per month; an 800-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment is expected to cost $1,100; a two-bedroom, 1,000-square-foot apartment is expected to rent for $1,350.
Current planning includes a mix of office and commercial space on the ground floor of the building, five stories of housing and a green rooftop to “offer storm water management and provide gardening space for tenants.”
According to the city’s executive summary, the council discussed the long road of financing and site planning for the developer at a Dec. 8 work session. The developer also plans to apply for tax-increment financing from the city should the proposal advance.
In August, City Planner Jason Zimmerman agreed that the proposal “fit nicely” with future city planning, but said the proposal was in its infancy and that affordable housing project often “take years to pull together.” The council also discussed the parking issues due to the nearby Hello Apartments, and how to ensure timely completion of large projects.
The tax-exempt awards will be announced beginning Jan. 12.