By J.D. Duggan, Finance & Commerce

Large units and deep affordability are a focus of St. Paul-based Wellington Management’s new proposal in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Agra will be a six-story mixed-use building with 155 units spanning the spectrum of affordability at 901 27th Ave. S. The Minneapolis Planning Commission approved the project Monday. The site was formerly home to a Perkins restaurant. Another proposal at the location by Newport Midwest fell through.

Wellington’s apartment will include six four-bedroom units, 40 three-bedroom units and the rest will be a mix of one- and two-bedrooms.

“We’ve had conversations with the city [to] just really understand their priorities for deeply affordable units for those larger families. So we’re focusing on that,” said Casey Dzieweczynski, vice president of development with Wellington.

All units are affordable to families earning 60% or less of the area median income: 62 units are 60% AMI, 55 units are 50% AMI and 38 units are 30% AMI, with 10 of the latter including supportive services for people who have experienced homelessness.

The developer partnered with the city and Minneapolis Public Housing Authority to be able to bring the deeply affordable units online and is partnering with Simpson Housing Services to provide the supportive services.

It’s Wellington’s first project in Seward, but the team has met with Seward Co-Op, which is just a few blocks away, to start forming a relationship that could help support a future commercial tenant and emphasize the access to healthy foods for future tenants. The apartment building will have 1,930 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.

“There’s an intent to not only have affordable housing, but also to support a local small business entrepreneur, [to] have an ag-focused space on that first floor fronting Franklin Avenue,” Dzieweczynski said. The company has worked with Redesign and Neighborhood Development Center to find who that might be. “We really want to find the right tenant for that space that’s rooted in the community.”

MPHA is also building a nearby senior project, so Dzieweczynski said he’s excited to see how the two projects help vitalize the area with housing for larger families and seniors.

Wellington will offer an update to the City Council in June and will require some funding approvals over the next year or so. Dzieweczynski said the plan is to break ground in the second half of next year and open in late 2024.