TONKA BAY — The public will get the chance to share their thoughts on an updated proposal to redevelop part of the Tonka Village Shopping Center.

The Tonka Bay City Council had discussed preliminary plans for the multifamily housing redevelopment in November 2018, but the developers have since adjusted the concept for the 6.34-acre shopping center, located at 5609 Manitou Road.

The owners of the Tonka Village Shopping Center and Doran Development are proposing to tear down part of the shopping center, north of Hazellewood Grill and Tap Room, to build a 126-unit, three-story building that’s 53,000 square feet, Tony Kuechle, senior vice president of development with Doran Development, wrote in a letter to the city.

The project would include a mixture of two-story townhomes and one- and two-bedroom apartments and 186 underground parking spots, as well as a separate 4,500-square-foot clubhouse and a courtyard, the letter said.

The development would aim to serve both renters from the area who are looking to downsize and young professionals who work in the western Twin Cities suburbs, the letter noted.

Developer eyes Tonka Village Shopping Center for multifamily housing project

Initial concept plans for the project, which were presented at the Nov. 13, 2018 Tonka Bay City Council meeting, called for four, four-story buildings totaling 125 units, with rental prices for the apartments ranging from $1,600 to $4,000 a month. At the time, residents expressed concerns about the availability of parking at the shopping center and how the project would affect the already congested roads nearby.

In the letter about the new design, Kuechle said: “We believe the traffic study will show that the new residential development will be offset with the reduction of commercial space as it relates to traffic generation,” noting when the project is complete, there will be 259 surface parking spots, the same number there is now “even though the commercial space will be decreased by approximately 19,000 square feet.”

Public hearing planned

The Tonka Bay City Council will hold a public hearing on the planned unit development general concept plan for 5609 Manitou Road on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m.

Anyone who wants to speak about the general concept plan can do so at the meeting or send written comments to the city no later than noon on Feb. 12.

Steps to approval

This is the first of several steps in getting this project approved. The city’s website says there are three stages for a planned unit development application to get approval from the Tonka Bay City Council.

First, the city council needs to approve the general concept plan, which is what is being discussed on Feb. 12. Then the city council has to approve the general plan of development, and then the final plan.

Once the project gets all these approvals from the city and any other government agencies with interest in the project, a building permit can be issued, the city’s website explains.

Kuechle’s letter to the city says they hope to get the necessary approvals in time to begin construction by this summer, with the goal of finishing the project by the end of 2020.

For more information on the project, visit the city’s website at bit.ly/2MRdGeZ.

Melissa Turtinen is the multimedia reporter for Lakeshore Weekly News. She's passionate about adding context to stories and informing people about what's going on in their community. She enjoys being outside, traveling and good beer.

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