Proposed Duluth waterfront condos could offer million-dollar views – Duluth News Tribune

A swanky new 16-unit condominium could soon arrive in Duluth.

Taking inspiration from the waters of Lake Superior, which the four-story building will directly overlook, developer Sandy Hoff has dubbed the development The Breakers.

As proposed, the building would be 55 feet high and would require a variance as it exceeds the maximum height of 45 feet permitted under existing zoning. This exception request will be submitted to the Duluth Planning Commission for consideration at its next meeting at 5 p.m., October 12.

“The challenge we face is the amount of rock and the size of this site. If we were to dig deeper into the rock, our garage ramp would be too steep to meet ADA (Americans with Disability Act ) requirements,” Hoff said.

Gary Meader / [email protected]

City staff recommend that the height deviation be approved.

“We tend to look at both criteria: the practical difficulty of a project and its reasonableness. Street, as well as Lake Superior, so in order to squeeze a building there, that seems like a reasonable request,” said Adam Fulton, deputy director of Duluth’s planning and economic development division.

The proposed building would exceed the 45-foot height of the neighboring Beacon Pointe development.

Given the elevation change the further you get from the lake, Hoff said he suspects the proposed height variation won’t cause any difficulty for neighbors.

“The zoning allows for 45 feet. So the extra difference in how much extra field of view it will take up in the skyline is nominal,” he said.

Hoff said the proposed condominiums will range in size from 1,750 to 2,900 square feet and unit prices will likely range from about $900,000 to more than $2 million.

100621.N.DNT.Circuit BreakersC2.png

An artist’s rendering shows a planned idea for the roof of the proposed development called The Breakers. Contribution / Arola Architecture Studio

While that price range is out of reach for most residents, Fulton said he’s confident potential investors have done enough market research to feel confident going ahead with the project. .

“We certainly recognize that there is a strong demand for housing in Duluth, and that includes housing at all levels, both high and low,” he said.

The roughly $18 million project will be funded entirely by the private sector with no government assistance, according to Hoff. He hopes to start construction in the spring of 2022 and complete the work by 2023.

Hoff estimates the completed condos will generate more than $300,000 in annual property tax revenue. He also said the project would address pre-existing soil contamination issues at the site.

Hoff said the proposed development won’t encroach on a previously established easement for a Lakewalk extension along the waterfront. But he sees little chance of the footpath being installed any time soon.

“We met with the Friends of the Lakewalk group and shared with them the scope of our project,” he said.

An extension of the Lakewalk was planned behind the Beacon Pointe Resort, but the development was built so close to the shore that there was not enough room for full multi-purpose use, and subsequent erosion did not only complicated the situation.

Meanwhile, a bluestone pedestrian walkway has been installed behind a townhouse development called The Ledges to the east of where The Breakers condominiums are proposed. This path was also closed due to shoreline erosion. And there is an in-between easement space on the property owned by Cindy and Paul Hayden, directly east of the proposed Breakers development.

100621.N.DNT.Circuit BreakersC3.png

The Breakers, a proposed development for Water Street in Duluth, would be 55 feet tall and would require a waiver. Contribution / Arola Architecture Studio

“It’s a trail that doesn’t lead anywhere at the moment, and initial discussions with the city indicate that they are unsure of future plans for this section of the trail, if any,” Hoff said.

Fulton confirmed: “The easement is in place, should it ever become a priority for the city at some point. But it’s not something that would be appropriate at this point, based on the current circumstances in the surrounding area. .”

This story originally stated the wrong date for the next Planning Commission meeting. It was updated at 12:05 p.m. on October 7 with the correct date. The News Tribune regrets the error.

Comments are closed.