Since the first luxury student housing project was constructed over five years ago, the area surrounding the University of Minnesota has seen the addition of over 3,000 apartment units including the addition of over 10 new apartment projects. What's unbelievable is that there still is enough demand in the market to spark even more apartment projects. This week construction started on yet another student housing project, one though that is different from the masses of apartment projects in the surrounding area.
Riverton Community Housing began construction last week on a project in the heart of Dinkytown at the corner of 4th Street SE and 13th Avenue SE. The site formerly housed a small apartment building called 4th Street Housing Coop. While the new building's working title is that of the former building, construction documents and legal sources have started to use the building's title as "The Maison." Now doesn't that just sound classy?
Here's why The Maison will be different from other luxury student housing projects in the area; it's a coop. What that means is that the residents in the building have a say in basically everything. Kit Fordham of Cooperative Services explains it best.
“In a time when expensive 'luxury' apartments seem to be popping up on every corner, our student-run, democratic cooperatives have never been so important. Our residents are all equal parts of the whole, allowing our communities to take the shape their members envision. Residents are given the opportunity to join the Board of Directors, which is the governing body of the community. We’re all here to learn. I believe when you’re in school the best thing for you is to be engaged in community. There is no better way to participate in community than joining a cooperative, where everyone has a voice and everyone is valued.”
Now isn't that just a breath of fresh air? It's nice to see a new project come on line that actually has something different to offer its occupants. When this new luxury student housing boom began we just saw luxury units. Then buildings started adding amentities like those found in resorts. However, now when every apartment building seems to offer amenity rich courtyards, movie theaters, tanning beds, and whatever else ones heart could possibly desire, it has always been a question of what was going to be offered next. Riverton Community Housing may have that answer.
The Maison will be a six story building that will feature 66 apartment units and a 2365 ground floor retail space. The retail space already has sparked rumors of what might occupy it. Recently it has been noted that Starbucks will be opening a Dinkytown location and many are now assuming this highly visible, prominant retail space could become Starbucks new home in 2015.
The ground level will feature a fitness center, kitchen, bike room, and outdoor patio with green space area. The building will also feature a single level of underground parking with 30 spaces for building occupants.
We'll have more information on these exciting developments at The Maison...along with its official name. Within the next week the project page for this project including all articles, construction photos, and updates regarding this project. You'll be able to find that page by clicking the image for this project in the Under Construction portion of our website.
You can find pictures of the demolition of the former building on site here courtesy of River Community Housing.