Case Study: 2700 University
At 2700 University Avenue, on the seam between Minneapolis and Saint Paul adjacent to the Westgate
light rail station, a Central Corridor project combines affordable and market-rate housing.
Over the past several years, the rising demand for multi-family housing has led to a rental occupancy rate of nearly 100% and a long wait list. Easy access to the new Green Line light rail has made the area even more attractive to individuals and families, for whom the University of Minnesota, both city centers, and two hospitals would be only a short train ride away.
This new transit-oriented development adds 248 apartments with modern amenities to the Central
Corridor. Twenty percent of those are affordable, and 80% are market-rate units. In addition to
interior community space and fitness rooms, there is a large outdoor pool area with grills, seating, and
pergolas; an entry plaza with a public art installation; and a half-acre internal courtyard that provides
light and air to both residents and neighbors. The ground floor also features 3,000 square feet of
commercial s pace.
The site design–two story town homes with porches and front doors on the public sidewalk on Emerald
Street, and balconies overlooking University Avenue with large plate glass windows on the ground floor—
uses Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies. These strategies help create more
of a “Main Street” feel, with human-scaled activities that create a sense of place and increased safety.
Bringing this marriage about has been a long complicated haul on the part of several commited partners—Flaherty & Collins Properties, a large Midwest housing developer; Twin Cites LISC; its affiliate the National Equity Fund (NEF); LISC’s co-funder BMO Harris Community Investments; the City of Saint Paul; and the Metro Transit Authority.
2700 University is the last component in Saint Paul’s 10-year effort to transition 14 urban infill acres along the avenue from industrial use to a new neighborhood of attractive residential dwellings and lively commercial space.