As many Osseo residents have no doubt already learned, the Osseo Five Central project has revved up in the last few weeks, and full blown construction will begin within the next few days. After years and years of planning, including some tough national and regional economic times, the City of Osseo Staff and City Council members are thrilled to see this project come full circle.
The City has teamed up with The Beard Group, a local developer overseeing the project whose company started back in 1990, to construct a 3-story, 71-unit market rate apartment building on the Block 6 redevelopment site, just north of Osseo City Hall. Osseo leaders have spent over ten years buying up residential properties on the Block 6 site with the grand vision of constructing a multi-tenant project with the aim to bring more residents to the City’s downtown core. As the dominoes began to fall into place on the redevelopment site, The Beard Group stepped up and proposed the Five Central concept to City officials. Many variations of the project were presented, and the final concept plans were approved by the Osseo City Council late in 2012.
This spring and summer, the remaining vacant homes and old gas station on the corner of Central Ave and 5th Street NW met the wrecking ball. It took all of one day to reduce the old residential homes to rubble, as crews wasted no time clearing the area for construction. At the same time, utility and sewer work began in 6th Street NW to upgrade the infrastructure needed to support the new development. Xcel Energy will begin to remove the overhead power lines and bury them underground shortly, which will help visually clean up the development site. With the vacant homes out of the way, construction crews will start digging to begin work on the underground parking facility.
The need for this project is clear. The City has long wanted to bring more people to its charming downtown business core to help support the small businesses that occupy the flower lined corridor. Certainly adding roughly 100 or more residents adjacent to the commercial districts will accomplish that. Because the apartments will feature all high-end appliances and finishes, both millennials and baby boomers will be attracted to this project. Apartment renters want to be able to walk to amenities, and they generally like the connection and proximity to parks and day-to-day commercial businesses. The Beard Group recently completed similar projects in blighted areas in downtown Hopkins (Marketplace and Main) and Robbinsdale (Broadway Court) with great success as the rental housing market continues to skyrocket.
The booming rental market can be felt in other area cities. Many suburban downtowns in the west metro are being rebuilt as cities strive to revitalize their cores by capitalizing on the latest development trends. Many new projects, including the Osseo Five Central project, are underway in an attempt to bring density and dollars to sagging suburban centers. The Star Tribune recently ran an article showcasing the Five Central project. Attracting different populations (baby boomers, millennials and Generation X) to live and spend money in downtown districts is something many cities are trying to achieve as the economy continues its slow climb out of the recession.
So what can residents expect on the Five Central construction site in the coming months? Well, for starters, more and more construction equipment and workers. A project of this size will generate roughly a crew of 40-60 workers at its peak time. The full build time is expected to take around one full year, depending on the winter weather and other factors. The Beard Group is expecting to cut the ceremonial ribbon on the Osseo Five Central project sometime in the summer of 2014. Demand for leasing the units has already been strong. If you are interested in learning more about the units or want information on how to sign up on the waiting list, you can contact Ben Beard at 952-930-0630 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you follow the City of Osseo on Facebook (Facebook.com/DiscoverOsseo), be sure to check out the updated Five Central construction photographs album throughout the next year for great visual updates of the work being done on site.
Riley Grams, City Planner, City of Osseo