Owatonna Considering 328-unit Housing Project
The City Council approved a Planned Unit Development (PUD) and Preliminary Plat at its May 16 meeting to help address housing needs in Owatonna. This new residential development, proposed by Prairie LaSalle Partners, plans to construct traditional single-family, attach single-family, two-family townhomes and multi-family units for a total of 328 units on an 82-acre parcel.
“This is the first development like this we’ve seen in Owatonna that will provide opportunities to rent or own a home,” said Troy Klecker, Community Development Director. “It will provide housing options for the full range of our community members including young families, seniors looking to downsize and everyone in between and it will help provide the greatly needed housing for Owatonna’s continually growing workforce.” The proposed development will preserve 16 acres of open space and wetlands. One priority for the design is walkability with a number of 10-foot-wide trails included in the design. An association will maintain the common spaces in the development.
A neighborhood meeting was hosted by the developer May 4 which provided the neighbors who attended a preview of the development and an opportunity to express ideas and concerns about the project. A public hearing was held at the May 9 Planning Commission meeting which also provided information about the development and an opportunity for community members to ask questions and offer comments. The second reading of the proposed Ordinance approving the PUD for this project is expected to be considered by the City Council at its July 5 meeting. Pending this approval, the first phase of construction is planned to kick off this summer. Construction throughout all four phases could stretch over the next ten years, depending on market demand.
According to Klecker, “With the expansion of many existing companies and new companies moving to Owatonna, many new jobs have been created. This has put great pressure on the housing needs within the community. We have seen many new apartments created to help meet the housing demand; however, new owner-occupied residential units have been lacking. The Mineral Springs Estates project will be Owatonna’s largest owner-occupied residential development. Not only will this development provide greatly needed single-family homes, it will also introduce new options such as row homes and three-level flats. With its size, this development will provide as many owner-occupied units as have been constructed in the last ten years in Owatonna.”
Other housing projects are underway
There is also a 75-unit, market rate apartment building being constructed on the north end of Cedar Avenue. This project has a combination of one-, two- and three-bedroom units with underground parking. It is expected to be completed this fall. In January, the City Council approved a new riverfront redevelopment project in the downtown area. In addition to commercial space, the Ascend project will include 69 luxury, one- and two-bedroom apartments with balconies and a common deck area and fitness center. Demolition for the project will begin in June and construction is planned to be completed in fall of 2024. Last fall, Schrom Construction constructed infrastructure to support a 17-lot residential subdivision along Maple Creek to provide executive-level lots for new construction. The first home in this development is currently under construction and more are planned for later this year.
To continue addressing the need for housing, the City of Owatonna has contracted with Maxwell to update its housing study and expects to have these results in June. This study will be used to demonstrate Owatonna’s current and future housing needs to prospective developers over the next ten years.