Sholom Home Has New Owner, New Plans
Friday, September 6, 2019 11:20 AM

A rough sketch of a potential floor layout in the west building of the former Sholom Home.

A new owner intends to turn the former Sholom Home building at 1554 Midway Parkway into rental apartments. Preliminary plans call for up to 150 apartments - mostly studio and 1-bedroom units - a representative told District 10's Land Use Committee on Sept. 4.

Premier Holdings I LLC acquired the property this summer after purchasing the mortgage last year, then foreclosing on the previous owner, Charter Midway LLC. Premier Holdings' principal owner is Jeffrey Laux, a long-time developer from Minneapolis who has been involved in high-visibility projects such as the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, Calhoun Beach Club, and Ivy Tower.

Preliminary plans call for 120-150 market-rate apartments ranging from about 450-1,000 square feet each, said Chuck Repke, who is working with Laux on the project. Repke shared rough sketches of floor plans, but said it will be several months before actual designs and a construction timetable are ready.

The interiors of the four buildings on the property will be gutted, but the buildings will remain intact, Repke said. That will fit in with the neighborhood better than a contemporary, steel-clad building, he said. Asbestos and other hazardous materials had been removed previously under a Metropolitan Council remediation grant.

The project will not seek public subsidies or “affordable housing” offsets, he said. However, it likely will require a substantial parking variance; initial plans could accommodate about 70 off-street spaces outdoors and 30 spaces indoors. "But it won't be one spot per unit," he said.

In response to a question, Repke said the building would accept Section 8 vouchers – “Any good landlord will allow Section 8 renters if they qualify.” But he also said he doubted the building would fit under federal guidelines, which are based in part on rents and renters’ incomes.

Initial market research shows the building could attract primarily graduate students from Hamline University and the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus, empty-nesters, and young adults looking for the convenience public transportation – such as Metro Transit’s A Line – outside their door.

Repke and nearby residents at the meeting discussed potential issues such as parking, noise, security, landscaping, maintenance, and amenities. “Tbere’s no doubt that 150 people changes your neighborhood,” he said. “But it’s clear from the failure of the last few groups that assisted living is not going to work.”

The former nursing home has been vacant since 2009. Charter Midway purchased the property in 2015, but failed to secure enough financing to support its plan for an assisted-living and memory-care facility it called Como Park Senior Living.


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