MINNEAPOLIS -- Plans are moving forward on a 40-story condominium tower across the Mississippi River from downtown Minneapolis.
The project was cleared by the city but faced pushback from the group Neighbors for East Bank Livability because it is in a historic area where height limits exist.
Earlier this week, the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's ruling that sided with the developer.
Minneapolis-based Alatus plans to build the tower at 200 Central Avenue SE in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. It's the former location of the Washburn-McReavy Funeral Home and before that, the St. Anthony Commercial Club. It would be the tallest building in the city outside of downtown.
"It's a very dense, vibrant, walkable neighborhood which really has an attractive pull not only for millennial populations but also for baby boomer populations as they're moving out of their homes and want to be in kind of these urban atmospheres," said Chris Osmundson, director of development at Alatus.
The 40-story condo will include 214 units and Osmundson describes it as a "sophisticated, luxury experience in an urban area."
The project has been stalled for the last year and a half due to litigation.
"It is not in keeping with the plans for this historic district and historic preservation, in general. Many of the people who moved here, moved here to be in a historic district... in a low-rise, livable neighborhood and this is a change that is wildly out of scope with those expectations," said Jeff Wright, treasurer of Neighbors for East Bank Livability.
Wright said it will permanently change the character of the neighborhood and sets a precedent for future developments.
"Our case is that the city was arbitrary and capricious in granting the zoning and conditional use permits to allow this building to go forward," Wright said.
Wright said they are considering appealing the ruling to the state Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Alatus is moving forward with its plans.
"We're going spend a little bit of time making sure that the building is really what we want it to be and offers the experience that we're frankly selling to these new homeowners. So we've got a little bit of runway still to move down here over the next six months or so," Osmundson said.
Osmundson said they plan to break ground in the spring of 2019.