January 18, 2019
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Edina City Council members took up the issue of amending the comprehensive plan which, would allow for a significant increase in the height of buildings.

The vote Tuesday specifically addressed property at the corner of France Avenue and 69th Street West, which currently accommodates two low-level bank buildings.

Ryan Companies has proposed developing that corner into high density, high rise residential housing with a park plaza, green space, retail, 82 owner-occupied condominiums and 6 brownstone style townhomes.

Courtesy Ryan Companies

But before dirt can be moved, council members have to vote to rezone the land to allow the building to be much taller.

"This would allow building height to go from four stories to 20-plus stories," said Cory Teague, development director for Edina.

The proposed project is called the Estelle Towers and would include luxurious, low-maintenance living.

Dawnn Eldredge, who lives nearby at Lake Cornelia, said the project appeals to her.

"This would breathe new life into the Southdale area," she said.

One of the towers would be 24 stories, the other would be 22 stories. That means the contentious skyscrapers would surpass the height of other buildings in the area.

Neighbor Kari Geadelmann, who is a neighbor to the project location, said she appreciates the design, but does not approve of the location.

"I don’t think anybody wants to look at that 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," she said.

Geadelmann was also concerned residents of the tower would also be able to view her and her family while they are in their yard.

A spokesperson for Ryan Companies said the company set aside 20 percent of the units for affordable housing. The company also claims the project would boost the city’s tax base.

Source Article

Marguerite Barnes