Samuel Herzog of Unique Opportunities Duluth LLC proposes to construct a three-building apartment complex boasting about 275 units of housing on a parcel of former farmland located on the south side of Arrowhead Road and east of a proposed extension of Stanford Avenue above Marble Street.
The developer, with a solid track record of building housing across the state, has not requested any public subsidies or public assistance related to the proposed project, said Adam Fulton, Duluth's deputy director of planning and economic development. Fulton said he did not know how much the development was likely to cost.
"The development agreement is necessary because there are roads, utilities and other public improvements associated with it that would need to be installed," explained Fulton, adding that the project could help address the city's growing need for housing.
"It's right on a county road. So, it has good access to Arrowhead, and it's a site that really has been guided for development for some time. And it's very consistent with other types of development in the area. Certainly, we have dense housing just down the street to the east, as well as along Arlington," he said.
The Duluth City Council is expected to approve a development agreement Monday, allowing the project, dubbed Arrowhead Acres, to proceed.
A portion of the 20-acre development site would be set aside for stormwater management.
If the development agreement for Arrowhead Acres is approved Monday, a final plat for the project will likely go to the Duluth Planning Commission for a vote on Sept. 14. In July, the same commission voted 7-0 in support of a preliminary plat proposal for the development.
While Herzog has been active in other Minnesota markets, Fulton believes this is his first foray into Duluth. He said the number of housing developers showing interest in Duluth has been swelling.
"I think they recognize that there's a level of growth happening in Duluth that reflects the housing demand here," Fulton said.
"As the housing market has continued to mature, I think there are better examples as to how other developers have made projects work," he said pointing to how quickly a number of large new housing projects have leased up. Fulton pointed to the Bluestone Vue, Endi, Cityview Flats and the Kenwood Village developments as examples.
"That's proving that there is robust demand for apartments in our market," Fulton said.
"It has helped inform not only the development community, but also the banking community, the folks who do underwriting for these projects. That performance has helped them better understand how well absorption works in our market," he said.