EDA gives support to potential downtown housing project

By : 
PAULA BARNESS
SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

The Spring Valley Economic Development Authority (EDA) met for a special meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 3, to discuss the Minnesota Housing Workforce matching grant.

Up to $1.9 million in grant or deferred loan funds are available through this program, but the deadline on Oct. 11 for applications is quickly approaching.

Jeff Alllman, owner of the Commercial House, has been working with the EDA to put together a plan for the space left after the collapse of the former Tamarack Cafe in downtown Spring Valley.

The project would have a three-story apartment, similar in style to the Commercial House with 12 to 16 units and an elevator to all three floors. The main floor would also support up to 1,000 square feet of commercial space on the main level facing Broadway Avenue.

Planning and Zoning, along with the City Council, would need to approve a conditional use permit for any main floor apartments as proposed by Allman.

Enerson shared that at least four of the apartments would be handicap accessible.

According to Allman, the project, at this point, is estimated at $1.6 million.

Enerson noted the project would need $280,000 in tax increment financing (TIF) funds, which would be used as the two to one match for the grant.

“I want to do this, but I can't do it with overwhelming obstacles,” Allman said of the need for the city's support.

“Viewing it just as an EDA, I'd like to move forward with it and make the recommendation, so the city and the zoning can look at it and make their decisions on it,” EDA member Kim Brown commented.

The EDA voted to recommend the project move forward.

The council would then have to give its support on Monday, Oct. 8, pending planning approval, so the application can be submitted by the deadline.

Allman is also seeking from the city tax increment financing (TIF) of $280,000, which would be used for a two-to-one match for the state funds. Allman said that even if the city supports the project, he isn’t sure how much of the Minnesota Housing Workforce funds would be available since this project would total about one-fourth of all the money available across the state.