Park Bugle 2021 preview

By Scott Carlson

As the Bugle kicks off a new year of reporting, we expect 2021 to be every bit as eventful as 2020. Some items will be new while others will be a continuation of projects and events from 2020.

Here are a few things to watch for:

Redevelopment plan for lower Luther Seminary

A real estate and construction firm’s plans to redevelop a 15.5-acre site on the lower campus of Luther Seminary are in flux. What is coming is anyone’s guess.

The real estate firm, Master Properties Minnesota, has suffered numerous delays in proceeding with its project, which calls for building up to 450 to 500 units of new housing—from market rate family units to co-op housing for seniors—while preserving the campus’ 10-acre Breck Woods natural open space.

At press deadline, Master Properties was seeking a replacement partner for the United Properties assisted living component of the project that had been put on hold.

Meanwhile, Master Properties’ purchase agreement with the Seminary had expired, freeing the religious institution to engage in talks with other developers about the campus redevelopment, said representatives for Master Properties and Luther Seminary.

Foundation seeks new director

A little over a year ago, the St. Anthony Park Community Foundation named Alison Schaub as its executive director to succeed the retiring Jon Schumacher, a 20-year veteran of the post.

Now, the nonprofit is beginning a search again for a new director in the wake of Schaub’s recent departure. For the next six months, Lauren Renner will serve as the foundation’s interim director, handling its operations and assisting the organization to find a new permanent part-time director.

Renner is a St. Anthony Park resident and active volunteer, most recently serving as the president of the St. Anthony Park School Association during 2019-2020.

Founded in 1998, the foundation raises funds to support charitable and community activities that serve the needs of the St. Anthony Park community.

No SAP Arts Festival

Organizers of the St. Anthony Park Arts Festival have cancelled the 2021 arts festival due to continuing fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The nonprofit recently issued the following statement:

“Based on what we know about COVID-19 today and the time it takes to plan the arts festival, we are not able to host the event in June 2021. The Library Board voted unanimously in support of cancelling the arts festival for 2021.

“Co-directors Tanya Anderson and Deanna Seppanen and the planning committee hope you all will support local artists over the holidays and also support our local library! The library is losing this annual fundraiser two years in a row because of Covid 19.”

Sholom Home site

A proposed redevelopment of the former Sholom Home care center into rental apartments is still in the works, according to Michael Kuchta, executive director of the District 10 Como Community Council.

Midway Community Group LLC wants to renovate the former nursing home at 1554 Midway Parkway to create 150 rental apartments. Kuchta said the developer remains optimistic the project will work “but that it is still a ‘giant step’ to construction.”

4th in the Park celebration?

The 4th in the Park’s traditional Fourth of July activities last year were altered by the Covid pandemic. The annual in-person parade was cancelled and replaced with a series of virtual activities. As of press time, the 4th in the Park committee had not decided what it might do for this year’s celebration.

Como Park Lakeside pavilion parking lot

Look for reconstruction of the pavilion parking lot this coming summer.

Scott Carlson is managing editor of the Bugle.

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