Consultant: Edina tower would be "exclusive and elite enclave"
A consultant for the city of Edina tore into the design for a luxury apartment tower at Southdale Center planned by Life Time and mall owner Simon Property Group.
Catch up fast: Life Time and Simon want to build the 32-story tower next to Life Time's new health club and coworking space at the mall. Their proposal goes before the planning commission tonight.
What they're saying: Mic Johnson, who consults for the city on proposals in the Southdale area, doesn't like the design."(The proposal is a) marketing package of how the developer and architects have designed a place that is exclusively about themselves and their interests, not the broader community," he wrote in his report.
- Johnson suggested the developers and their architect, Minneapolis-based ESG Architecture & Design, get rid of the 32-story tower and instead build three smaller towers with underground parking and some affordable units.
Life Time's plans would connect the tower to its new health club and coworking space via skyway.
- That design, Johnson wrote, creates "an exclusive and elite enclave ... that will be isolated from the Greater Southdale District."
What's next: The Edina Planning Commission will consider the consultant's report before voting on the project tonight.
Of note: Life Time declined to comment.
- ESG sent a letter to city officials responding to some of Johnson's critiques, noting that the tower is stepped back from the street and that the parking podium at certain points has walk-up apartments.
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