The Baldwin Village Board has reached a consensus to move forward with a new 72-unit apartment complex to be located on GracieDrive, south of I-94. 

Developer Paul Tucci spoke to the board at their May 12 meeting to answer questions and concerns. He cited a completed market study that indicates there is a demand for this type of housing. The plan is for a two phase construction, 38 to 42 units initially in first phase, second phase to bring total to 72. 

There will be a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments in the complex, with detached garages available. The structure will be three stories with a community room and a common area near the elevators.

Rental rates for one bedroom will be $900 a month ranging to $1,600 for a three-bedroom apartment. The structure will be mainly one and two bedroom units with some three bedroom units. Tucci says these rates will be 10 to 20 percent lower than comparable units in Hudson. 

Tucci cited the proximity to the interstate and hospital as a draw for the complex. He said the housing was aimed at persons who worked in the community and could not yet afford a single family home. Target customers would be mid management or support at the hospital and manufacturing employees, according to Tucci. 

“We think this is a viable project,” Tucci said. “It’s needed, the market study says it’s needed.”

Tucci said they settled on the spot after driving around the community.

Tucci was asked about greenspaces, a playground and fencing around a retention pond that would adjoin the property. There will be green spaces at both ends of the units and about the fence, Tucci said “they will not be able to get to the pond.”

Tucci was asked if he and his partners would continue to own the units after it would be constructed. Tucci’s partner owns 500 units and they are doing other developments now. “The question was asked ‘Are you going to sell it?’ I would tell you that, including my kids, everything’s for sale every day.”

“Fair enough” Board President Lance Van Damme replied. “I just wanted to hear it from your mouth.”

Tucci explained he and his partner are looking at a number of these developments in different communities. “I think there will be a time, I don’t know how soon, could be right away, could be five years down the road, where you may have three or four of these and there’s a bigger player in the market who wants to own this type of product and instead of buying, if we do both phases, 72 units, they want to own 300 units by buying five of these complexes. I can’t say it will be in the same ownership group forever. I can say that, but I wouldn’t be telling you the truth.”

Van Damme noted the design had changed since it was brought before the planning and zoning commission. Tucci said they had been looking at the design and instead of designing a better mousetrap, they had been looking at complexes in other communities. A photo of a complex the board looked at and is pictured is from Gaylord, Minn. Their design and build contractor has built structures like the one in Gaylord and they have been well received.

Tucci said they would like to be starting on the project soon, but the high cost of building supplies has caused for a pause. Tucci feels prices for construction materials will moderate in the next six to eight months. He noted a project they are currently working on in West St. Paul is costing more than anticipated because of building supplies. Tucci said they had locked in prices, but the prices don’t lock in until “they are on the truck and on the way.” Pricing on lumber went up twice.

They want to be ready to go in the fall, but the start time depends on the price of building materials.

Since the units would be constructed in the industrial park, which is located in tax increment financing (TIF) district 7, Tucci will be looking for financial assistance with the project.

The village’s financial consultants spoke at the meeting about the upcoming end of TIF District 7, which will occur September 12, 2022. There will be a window of time to fund additional projects or the village would be able to close the district sooner and begin recapturing tax values from the improvements made in the district.

The board too no action.

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