Too Many Rentals in Maple Grove? Latest Townhome, Apartment Plan Raises Concerns
Some Maple Grove City Council members have concerns about whether the city has too many rentals.
The concerns were raised Monday night during a new development proposal that calls for rentals in the northwest quadrant of Maple Grove near the future Highway 610 extension and I-94.
Plymouth-based Nörsq Cos. is proposing 155 “Scandinavian-inspired” townhome rentals and a 200-unit apartment building, located off of Garland Lane.
City planning documents do call for high density in this area. However, some council members are raising questions whether the city has reached a saturation point.
“Pretty much all of the products that we have been approving are rentals,” said Maple Grove City Council member Rachelle Johnson. “It’s just concerning for us that we are not creating an environment… that is we’re going to have a well-rounded housing supply that’s going to last the course of 25-30 years.”
Maple Grove City Council member Kristy Janigo also shared those concerns.
“In the past few weeks I’ve had a lot of resident outreach telling me they feel we don’t have a plan, that we’re just kind of saying “yes” to everything and building a whole lot of things because of how quickly this part of the city is developing,” said Janigo.
Joe Hogeboom, the city’s community and economic development director, said the city has already achieved the growth it expected by 2030. He said the city is waiting for more Metropolitan Council estimates to see if prior demand for rentals has reached equilibrium with demand for owner-occupied homes.
“If you are noticing more growth in Maple Grove, it’s real,” said Hogeboom.
Developer: Economics driving rental demand
Jeff Koch, owner of Nörsq Cos., said economics are driving the demand for rentals. He told the Maple Grove City Council that the “economics just don’t work” right now for single-family housing, pointing to higher interest rates and increased costs.
The Nörsq townhome proposal features a unique Scandinavian-inspired design with two and three-story options. The townhomes would be built around a clubhouse, which would offer a fitness center, yoga studio and workspace for renters. A pool, playground area and pickleball court are also shown in the plans.
The townhomes would rent for $2,685 a month for a two-bedroom unit and $3,100 for a three-bedroom option, said Koch. The monthly cost for the apartment building has not been determined yet, he said.
The project is near The Edison Apartments, which were approved last year. The development would also include 900 square feet of retail, enough room for a coffee shop and two other small businesses.
City officials said they share the concerns of council members about rentals, but noted this project could have been even higher density than what Nörsq Cos. proposed due to the city’s land-use guiding for the site.
“It most likely probably would have been up to 400 or over 400 units of probably rental housing on this site,” said Peter Vickerman, the city’s planning manager.
The Maple Grove City Council ended up approving the project on a 4-1 vote. Janigo was the lone no vote.
Construction on the townhomes is expected to begin this fall.