$16M student housing development moves ahead in Duluth

Downtown high-rise project delayed

LSC student housing.jpg
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Plans to build student housing next door to Lake Superior College took a step forward last week when the Duluth Economic Development Authority signed off on a proposed development agreement for a 100-unit apartment building.

LSC Flats LLC, an offshoot of Titanium Partners LLC, expects to invest at least $16 million in the building, which will offer two- to four-bedroom apartments for rent.

To assist with the project, DEDA will seek to acquire some tax-forfeited property and sell it to the developer at its anticipated $30,000 cost plus fees.

Under the terms of the development agreement, LSC Flats LLC is expected to begin construction by no later than June 1, 2020 and complete work on the project before the end of 2021.

But Daniel Fanning, Lake Superior College's director of institutional advancement, said that if work proceeds as planned, the new building could be ready to welcome students as soon as fall of next year.


"Essentially, we all understand and recognize there's a need for affordable housing and particularly student housing near Lake Superior College. So, we see this as hopefully the beginning. And if it goes as well as I think it's going to go, I would not be surprised to see an additional building. It sounds like both Brian and the city are very much on board with that," Fanning said.

Meanwhile, the timeline for another project Titanium Partners is involved in has been pushed back. The construction of a 15-story high-rise apartment building at 319, 321 and 323 E. Superior St. was initially to have begun in August, but DEDA passed a resolution now calling for work on the project to commence before the end of this year.

The resolution attributed the delay to "several development items, including final selection of a lender, finalizing bids from general contractors and negotiating a contract with Duluth Energy Systems to connect to the new hot water line in Superior Street."

The Voyageur Lakewalk Inn will be taken down to make room for the new downtown high-rise, which will house 204 apartments and about 20,000 square feet of commercial space. The development group for that project is Northstar Development Interests LLC.

Titanium Partners President Brian Forcier did not return calls from the News Tribune. His firm is partnering with Landmark Co. of Madison, Wis., to tackle the downtown project, which is expected to cost $70.4 million.

Peter Passi covers city government for the Duluth News Tribune. He joined the paper in April 2000, initially as a business reporter but has worked a number of beats through the years.
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