Rain abuses three single-family houses along East Calhoun Parkway on a weekday morning. A wrecking ball will bring much worse if CPM Development has its way. The developer wants to replace the homes with a five-story condo building.
Among the trio eyed for demolition is a home that was purchased in 2011 for $1.2 million.
The new condo structure would house 14 to 16 units, the cheapest costing more than $1 million for less than 2,000 square feet of living space. The high-profile address is situated across the street from Tin Fish restaurant.
It would prove no small feat to gain the city's approval for the project. All three properties must be rezoned. Moreover, the city would have to allow the developer to build 35 feet above another zoning regulation designed to protect the shore of Lake Calhoun.
The greatest obstacle will likely be area residents.
The developer first peddled the project to the East Calhoun Community Organization, the neighborhood group that represents the area, weeks ago. A majority of people spoke against the building, according to East Calhoun's Mark Rosenfeld. While the lack-of-affordability question wasn't addressed, Rosenfeld says it's the increased density and height that are the biggest issues.
"The majority of neighbors want the building to be in the existing height restriction," he says.
The six-story Edgewater Building that sits down the parkway at Lake Street was controversial when it was built about a decade ago. But that project was closer to the commercial streets of Uptown. The new building represents another frontier as it encroaches into residential real estate.
"We really haven't had this sort of issue before," Rosenfeld says. "Most of the [similar kind of development] has taken place on the north end of Lake Street."
This isn't the city Arlene Fried grew up in. She's lived in Minneapolis for 50 years.
"This would be precedent-setting," she says. "No one has ever tried to build something on one of the parkways on the lakes until this. If this happens, then someone will want to go a little [higher], then a little higher after that. If the city allows this it would be awful."