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City targets affordable housing project

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A 5-acre parcel in the new Urban Village development may soon be home to an affordable housing townhome complex.

The city of Woodbury is looking into buying the parcel with Housing and Redevelopment Authority funds. The privately owned parcel would cost the city $900,000.

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Two developers had expressed interest in the property, but due to financing an affordable housing project, it would take three to four years to close the sale, Housing Specialist Karl Batalden said.

The city plans to facilitate the sale to speed up the process for the Schilling family who currently owns the property, then turn around and seek requests for proposals from private developers.

Batalden said it’s not unusual for the city to take such action and later transfer the title to future developers.

The Schilling family is working to sell a single family component of their property as well, which will have to be sold before the city could buy this 5.8 acre parcel.

Batalden said the affordable housing units will act as a buffer between high density housing at the proposed Saint Therese senior living and the single family portion of Urban Village.

Although the city plans to sell the property to a private developer, facilitating the project will provide Woodbury control over the aesthetics and architecture of the project.

One other example of affordable housing that HRA worked on is Views at City Walk, which recently opened near Hudson Road and Woodbury Drive.

“There are several in the community that you don’t even know what they are or where they are,” City Council Member Paul Rebholz said of affordable housing units.

Woodbury plans to identify a developer in 2015 to allow for applications for Section 42 tax credit in the spring. Construction of the site is not expected to start before the fourth quarter of 2016.

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Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir has been a reporter/ photographer with the Woodbury Bulletin since 2011. She covers Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news around the city. Riham holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked for two other Forum Communications newspapers in Central Minnesota. Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.
(651) 702-0974
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