Neighbors First For Bywater – General Meeting September 4, 2019

Meeting called to order at 7:08 PM by president Julie Jones.

Julie introduced Joe Jaeger, Peter Aamott, and Arnold Kirschman from the MCC Group. MCC is a real estate development company planning to develop the old Holy Angels property on St. Claude as well as the Naval Support Facility (NSA) on Poland Avenue. Mr. Jaeger informed the group about an upcoming NPP (Neighborhood Participation Program) meeting regarding plans for Holy Angels that will take place on the property September 12th. The current plan is to develop a hotel on the property, described as “92 keys” with a pool and restaurant. Memberships may be sold to neighbors to access the pool, and they would like the restaurant to be affordable. The existing senior housing on the property is currently under lease and will remain, though they would like to renovate it at some point in the future. The meeting space will be maintained for community use. Financing is in progress and construction could start as early as November. They estimate it will take 14 months to complete. The hotel will require a conditional use for additional square feet, and a variance for an extra 5 feet of height (apparently in an effort to match the existing buildings on the property).

Mr. Jaeger then went on to update the group on plans and developments at the NSA facility, which the group has been working on for nine years now. They would like to turn one of the buildings into 315 apartments including “workforce” (i.e. affordable), with neighborhood oriented commercial space on the first floor. The property has three large buildings, and the city still has an interest in using a section somewhere in the development. Other potential uses are storage and mixed commercial use. The group has been working with HUD to secure some financing but it has been a slow process. The City official the group has been working with also just left, which has slowed things even more. A lot is dependant on the financing. One building will probably be developed first, and it’s not certain which. They don’t want to demolish any buildings if they don’t have to. The end of the “feasibility period” is December. The port is still a potential problem, as they may still want to access their facilities through the property. The possibility of a cruise ship terminal exacerbates this issue. 

Rhonda Findley asked how many of the units would be workforce or affordable units, and the crowd got excited when Mr. Jaeger said 78 to 80, but he suggested the group “don’t clap yet”. They are going to talk to HUD again. Mark Gonzales thanked the group for their continued efforts to keep the neighborhood informed, and for their efforts to include affordable units. Joe Brown asked if there was still security at the facility, and Mr. Jaeger said there is, but he’s not sure how effective they are. Robyn Halverson asked if there was anyone NFB members could write to help speed up the financing process. The group was not sure, but will keep us informed. Leesaw Andaloro asked if the potential expansion of the Industrial Canal was a concern, and Mr. Jaeger said they hadn’t taken that into consideration, and they simply can’t delay the project any more waiting on the Corps of Engineers or the port. Another member asked about parking for the planned hotel at Holy Angels. The existing lot will be used. It is 42 spaces.

Mr. Jaeger and his associates were thanked for their time.

Meeting ended at 8:00 PM.

Submitted by Tyler Harwood, secretary

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