Ecumen revises senior co-op site plan, forming neighborhood design group
Matt McNeill, director of business development for senior housing developer Ecumen, gave an overview of the company’s efforts to work with the St. Anthony Park community on site plans for a senior housing cooperative on Nov. 5 at the District 12 Land Use Committee meeting.
The nonprofit developer is negotiating with Luther Seminary to buy two tracts of land on the seminary campus to build an owneroccupied co-op on the east end of the campus and an apartment building and memory-care facility at the west end.
Ecumen presented plans and renderings for the three developments at an open house on Sept. 24 and at the District 12 Land Use Committee meeting on Oct. 1. Neighborhood opposition to the proposed 60-unit co-op prompted Ecumen to hold a series of community workshops in October to gather input from area residents.
After the initial workshop, Ecumen revised the site plan for the Luther Place co-op (see the accompanying map). The new plan moves the proposed three-story building to the property just behind the current parking lot, where three seminary houses now stand. The number of units in the building has been lowered to 53-55 units. The new site plan preserves green space at the corner of Como Avenue and Luther Place, preserves St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church’s access to a parking lot at the site, preserves views to and from Bockman Hall on the campus, and removes a proposed parking lot entrance on Como Avenue at Valentine Avenue, which a number residents felt would be unsafe.
Ecumen is now working on “how it will look and fit into the neighborhood,” McNeill said. The developer is forming a group of residents who will work with the development team as the project is designed. Tom Fisher, former dean of the University of Minnesota College of Design and a St. Anthony Park resident, will be part of that team.