Roseville City Council, RHRA discuss business retention, Dale Street redevelopment

The Roseville City Council held a joint meeting with the Roseville Housing and Redevelopment Authority (RHRA) March 3 to discuss the Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E) program and the Dale Street Redevelopment project.

The RHRA launched the BR&E program in November to get a better understanding of the local business environment in Roseville. A 24-person BR&E taskforce surveyed 41 non-retail businesses in Roseville to find out what their needs are.

Jeanne Kelsey, acting RHRA executive director, said the program’s goals are to: address local business owners’ immediate concerns, help them to be competitive and to help forge stronger relationships between the city and businesses, so Roseville can implement an economic development plan that will support business growth and development.

Data speaks

The University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality analyzed the data collected from interview sessions with business owners. Members from the Center presented their findings at the meeting.

According to Michael Darger, who runs the university’s BR&E program, 70 percent of the businesses surveyed by the taskforce are locally owned. Those 41 businesses represent 3,000 jobs  -- 1,000 more jobs than they reported three years ago, most of which are full-time positions.

According to survey responses, the main reason for this robust increase in employment is due to economic recovery coupled with an increased demand for products and services.

Only 17 percent of the jobs from the group of businesses surveyed were filled by people living in Roseville, which Darger said was a low percentage, but noted could be explained by the fact that Roseville is an aging community. He added that 21 of the 41 businesses surveyed were considering expansion and 15 were looking into making major equipment purchases in the near future. 

Overall, business owners rated Roseville as a good place to do business. The city earned a slightly higher than average score in that category compared to 36 other Minnesota cities participating in recent BR&E surveys.

Roseville business owners expressed an interest in having better networking opportunities with other businesses in the community. 

“I found it fascinating in the era of the internet, businesses are connecting all over the world, but feel that they are not connecting locally,” RHRA Chair Dean Maschka said. “I think that is an area where we could do something.”

To increase networking opportunities between businesses in Roseville, the city is looking into assembling a business-networking group for Roseville businesses and creating a database of businesses to make networking easier.

Some of the other initiatives to help local businesses discussed at the joint meeting include: establishing a business liaison position for the city, streamlining the building permit process, the creation of a shuttle service between businesses in the city, and creating a welcome package for new businesses.

The RHRA, city officials and members of the BR&E program will continue to explore potential programs or initiatives that could be implemented to help Roseville businesses thrive.

“It’s a work in progress that will continue to evolve... I’m excited about the potential of where this can go,” Maschka said.

Dale Street redevelopment

Members from the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMHC) -- the developer chosen to redevelop the site of the old Dale Street Fire Station -- presented the city council and RHRA members with their final proposal for a residential development on the three-acre site.

The land slated for redevelopment is located on the west side of Dale Street, just north of Highway 36, between Lovell and Cope avenues. 

GMHC will be building 25 owner-occupied and environmentally sustainable homes on the site. The site plan includes: nine, three-story, urban-style townhomes along Dale Street. The homes will have between two and four bedrooms and will have a two-car garage with an additional parking space in the rear. 

Behind the townhomes, ten two-story single-family homes will be built with a common green space courtyard. The homes will have three bedrooms and a master suite upstairs and will feature an open floor plan. The homes will have two-car attached garages and a private patio or side yard that will open up into a common courtyard area.

A row of five single-level townhomes and one single-family home will also be built along Cope Avenue. The single level homes are designed for seniors or people with limited mobility. The bedrooms, kitchen and bathrooms will all be at ground level. Each home will have a two-car attached garage and a finished area in the basement.

Bill Buelow, construction manager at GMHC, said all 25 units would have a private porch, patio, and/or balcony and would range in size from 2,100 to 2,500 square feet. All units will be sold for full market value for between $230,000 to $375,000, depending on size and amenities. A master association will handle all maintenance, snow removal and lawn care. 

Buelow said they are still going through the various city processes, but he suspects ground will be broken by late spring or early summer.

“It looks like we are on track for that,” he said.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at jnielsen@lillienews.com or 651-748-7824.

 

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