Plans Approved for Larger Brooklyn Center Homes
It’s a question that faces many suburbs: should they allow development of land to build homes in heavily wooded areas? Or leave the land as is? The Brooklyn Center City Council addressed that question Monday evening when it voted on a new housing proposal called Eastbrook Estates Second Addition.
The land in question is south of 69th Avenue North and west of Highway 252. It features an abundance of trees and is partly owned by Brooklyn Center’s Economic Development Authority. Centra Homes wants to build 30 single-family homes on the 7.55-acre site.
According to city officials, the project would fill a need in the city for larger three-to-four bedroom homes. The city council mulled over the merits of the project against concerns, including the impact on wildlife.
“One of the things that really sets Minneapolis and the surrounding areas, Brooklyn Center included in that, apart from many parts of the country is the urban forests,” said Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott. “It’s why the city and the region are the most likable place, most livable place, in all of the country.”
Need to Improve Tax Base
The city’s Economic Development Authority bought its portion of the site for $250,000. That portion has sat vacant for years. Centra Homes agreed to pay $115,000 for the city-owned land, pending city council approval. One resident wondered whether the city would be able to recoup its original investment or whether it would fall on taxpayers. City council members who favor the project believe it will recoup the money and then some.
“I think that if you do the numbers, that in a few years, with the buildout of these properties, the city’s tax base will be so enhanced that we’ll be more than compensated for the minor difference in the sale,” said Brooklyn Center City Council member Dan Ryan. “I think it will be a good project, I think it will improve the city.”
Most of the homes Centra proposes would not have basements, a concern raised by Brooklyn Center City Council member Kris Lawrence-Anderson.
A Centra Homes spokesperson says the reason for that is the site grading would have to raised significantly to exceed water levels, which wouldn’t make the project economically feasible. The homes would range in price from $315,000 to $350,000. Centra Homes plans to replant about three trees per lot to make up for the tree loss.
Ultimately, the Brooklyn Center City Council approved the Eastbrook Estates project by a 3-0 vote. Mayor Elliott abstained. The city council also approved the first reading of a zoning ordinance change for the project. A final vote on that is expected July 8.
“We need to bump up our tax base and we need to offer an opportunity for people that want to stay in Brooklyn Center, but perhaps are more fiscally able to move up and want a larger home,” said Lawrence-Anderson.
The city council also approved the first reading of a zoning ordinance change for the Brooklyn Center homes. A final vote on that is expected July 8.