The Douglas Carlson Company has expressed their desire to develop a long-vacant stretch of commercial property in Albertville called Heuring Meadows. This 11.79-acre parcel runs along the west side of CSAH 19 between Casey’s General Store and the Shoppes at Prairie Run.
However, the proposed development would require a change to Albertville’s zoning ordinance, since the developer would like to build three market-rate apartment buildings of 56 units each and 34 quad townhomes in a space currently zoned commercial. Developer Henry Hanson said the apartments would be built along the CSAH 19, and the townhomes would be just behind them, between the apartment buildings and the existing neighborhood to the west.
The developer, who is the same one that recently received approval to build market-rate apartments in St. Michael, said the proposed apartment buildings would be three stories each and would include amenities not currently available in Albertville’s apartment market, such as heated underground parking, playground, community room, fitness room and secure storage for renters.
Rents would run between $1,000-$1,700 for apartment units and between $1,200-$1,800 for the quad units.
The apartments would be accessed through a right-in/right-out access along CSAH 19 as well as 53rd Street. City planner Alan Brixius said the development would likely require the addition of a stop light at the intersection of CSAH 19 and 53rd Street, though traffic studies must be completed before the city makes any decisions.
Westbridge Church Previously Requested Rezoning of this Parcel
Councilmember Walter Hudson referred to this parcel of land as “frozen in time” due to the city’s comprehensive plan that calls for commercial development on this site. He said several other concept plans have fallen through for this property, and he feels the market ought to drive development of the site.
Many will remember that Westbridge Church tried to get this land rezoned in 2015 so they could build their church on the property. The city’s planning commission gave unanimous approval for the church’s rezoning request early that year, but the city council ultimately denied the rezoning request by a vote of 3 to 2.
At the time, dissenting councilmembers Olson, Sorenson and Vetsch said they wanted to protect the city and school district’s tax base, which led them to vote against a tax-exempt use for the space, but they also said they wanted the area to remain a commercial space due to the prime location off CSAH 19.
“Albertville only has a finite amount of land to develop, and the County Road 19 corridor is our prime commercial and only commercial corridor,” said city administrator Adam Nafstad. “I think the number one concern is preserving commercial land.”
However, he said this latest plan has some benefits over the church in the form of creating a nice transition between the existing single family homes to the quad homes and then the apartments. Nafstad said this plan complements the senior townhomes just to the north of the proposed development. Another benefit of this newest proposal, he said, is that it develops nearly the entire site and includes an access road to CSAH 19.
Meanwhile, Westbridge Church moved on from this space after their rezoning request was denied. They will begin construction of their church off Frankfort Parkway in St. Michael later this spring.
Nafstad said there has not been a formal application for this project or any formal approval, though the council told developers they would entertain a high-quality concept plan for high-density residential housing in this area, even while expressing some reservations. Nafstad he expects the developers to bring their plan back to council later this spring or summer.
North Wright County Today will update readers if or when next steps emerge for this project.