Sherman Associates drops market from Cedar-Riverside project, adds rec center

After initial plans for a public marketplace fell through, Sherman Associates has decided to build a community and recreation center, as well as affordable housing.

Sherman Associates drops market from Cedar-Riverside project, adds rec center

Sherman Associates updated its plans for an mixed-use development in Minneapolis' Cedar Riverside Neighborhood, replacing a public marketplace with a recreation and community center.

Minneapolis-based developer, Sherman, first acquired the exclusive rights to develop the site in April of 2021. At that time its plans included affordable housing as well as a public market. Sherman continues to envision housing on the property but has not been able to secure funding or an operating partner.

Background information was included with a request for an extension of exclusive development rights to 24 months. The new plans by Sherman were described in detail. The City's Business and Zoning Committee will review the modifications and extension at its meeting on Tuesday. The city staff recommended the changes.

"Sherman Associates are excited to pursue affordable homes for large families and a building that is community-focused, along with ample parking on the lot A site in Cedar-Riverside. Charles Burdick said that Sherman continues to work with city, county and state officials to secure financing to make the project viable.

Background information stated that the newly-envisioned community building would cost around $20 million to build and be approximately two stories high with 35,000 square foot of space. Background information stated that the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board will own, operate and fund the center. It would replace its current facilities, which are located at the Brian Coyle Center.

The developer held community listening sessions to gather feedback about its plans since the city approved Sherman’s plans in the year 2021. The sessions were organized in collaboration with Jamal Osman who represents the ward. According to background information, the developer's community center concept has "solid traction" among community members and city park and recreation board.

The development is still planning housing. The estimated cost of a 10-story building with 110 low- and medium-income units is $65 million. The building will have spacious three- and four bedroom units for families living in the Cedar Riverside area.

Sherman manages and owns the Riverside Plaza apartment complex in nearby, which contains over 1,300 apartments occupied by intergenerational families. The developer says that these families often overfill the many one- and two bedroom units in the area, resulting in a need for large housing options.

The project will provide the Cedar-Riverside community with much-needed housing. Burdick stated that many of the residents in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood live with their families and are crowded in the current housing options.

The site for the development is located near University of Minnesota West Bank Campus at 1500 Fourth St. S. It is currently a surface lot.

The market was to cover 65,000 square feet, with between 50 and 70 vendor stalls. It would also have contained community health care facilities and job training facilities.

Background said that the additional 24 months will give the developer time to gather the necessary financing and refine its new project plans and designs.

Sherman will continue to seek gap funding throughout the rest of the year. In 2024 it will refine site plans, seek city approvals, and close financing in the latter part of that year. Sherman has provided information that suggests construction could be completed in late 2025.

The total cost of the development is estimated at $85 million. Of this, around $20 million comes from the state bonding fund allocated to the city parks and recreation board.

A further $15 million will come from sources of funding for affordable housing, which are allocated by the state, city, and Metropolitan Council. According to background information, the remaining $50 million will come from private lenders, equity investments in tax credits and other sources.