🎉 Support Vermilion, send a quick email

This project is not in jeopardy: it has support from the Prospect Park Association, and city staff are recommending approval. It could use a show of support in the public record, if you have a couple of minutes, send an email reasonably before Monday afternoon. If you’re available and planning to testify, we can’t stop you.

Update 6/25: CPC approved the project.

A new project on the Green Line in Prospect Park is up for approval on Monday at the City Planning Commission at 4:30PM. The project is not in jeopardy: the neighborhood organization has written a letter of support, passed at the neighborhood land use committee (of 102 participants) by a broad margin. City Staff are also recommending that the Planning Commission approve this project.

The project will include 208 homes, market rate, including condos and rental units. The project includes lots of commercial space, 34,000 feet, and takes the unusual step of preserving an existing historic building — the dearly beloved Art and Architecture building — as part of its design. It is on many transit routes, and directly connected with the two biggest job centers in our region.

Vermilion Development has gone well out of their way to involve people in the neighborhood. They have listened to height concerns and reduced the height (but not units). They’ve spent months in process working with the neighborhood task force to make sure everyone is as happy as can be with the design. The project has also inspired a compromise petition to build support for growth, contingent on height limits reflecting iconic views from the Witch’s Hat tower.

However.

There is a contingent of area residents who are opposing this project. While it is unlikely that they will be able to sink the project, they’ve received their fair share of compromise in the process, the project still needs a more visible show of support in the city’s public record.

If you have two minutes…

Click here to send an email to Peter Crandall, the city planner responsible for this project. Include the following text, and, if you like, the image. If you live in the neighborhood, click here to include CM Gordon and staff.

I support this project. I support more homes on transit, in walkable areas and near jobs. I support the zoning change. We are in a global climate crisis, and a regional housing shortage, and we need to approve projects like this to do our part to solve these problems.

If you have way more time and want to write more, here are some things to consider:

  • I support this project.
  • I support the rezoning.
  • I support the variances and Conditional Use Permit for added height.
  • Prospect Park is in need of commercial space, and has numerous underused parking lots located directly adjacent to the green line, two of which will be included in this project.
  • The developer has gone above and beyond in listening to and working with people in the neighborhood to create an interesting project that represents community needs.
  • The developer has lowered the height in response to community concerns about building height, and made narrower building masses to get some direct sunlight on the sidewalks. This is a reasonable compromise given that the properties are on a transit corridor, and it appears that many residents are asking for the unreasonable.
  • The project is in between downtown Minneapolis, and St. Paul. It will put the largest job centers in the state, including the University of Minnesota, within easy access via public transit.
  • The developer is providing more than enough parking, and conducted a detailed parking study to confirm this.
  • Prospect Park is an area that is growing in demand, and we must build enough housing to match, or we will put pressure on people already feeling the pressure in the housing market.
  • The project is near to a Green Line stop, adjacent to many bus routes, near to jobs, parks, a grocery store, and other amenities. It is on the fastest and most reliable transit line in the city, and connected to much of the area.
  • A majority of the complaints about this project focus on blocked views of the Witch’s Hat tower. Views will be maintained for nearly everyone south of University — and a skinnier, taller building lets more sunlight through to the sidewalks than the alternative: a broader, squat building.
  • This project is close to the U of M Transit Way, the 4th St bikeway, which are connected to the U of M and downtown Minneapolis.
  • Traffic projections for the project were stated to be 1 car per hour, on average, at a recent neighborhood meeting.
  • It is unfair to hold our cities hostage with the threat of added sprawl in the face of a climate crisis, all because someone at a public meeting once said they were concerned about not being able to see Witch’s Hat from their vehicle along 280 for a few seconds.

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