8-year-old housing project will finally see hammer and nails

The Village on Rivoli site sits just south of Phalen Boulevard and just east of I-35E, with a view of downtown. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Long in the works, the “Village on Rivoli” development will break ground this spring, says Jim Ercuhl, director of Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Housing.

The project’s origins date back to 2006, but plans got waylaid by the Great Recession.

Erchul said that with the help of some state funding that came through in November to the tune of $230,000, Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Housing has enough funding lined up to build six new homes.

Erchul had previously said the organization was hoping for a more sizeable $600,000 sum from the state.

“But it’s enough to get started,” he said.

That state funding, along with city STAR funding, will help cover the difference in price between what it costs to build the homes and what they can be sold for.

The homes that Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services are proposing would cost roughly $233,000 apiece, but would only have an estimated market value of $175,000, according to the group’s proposal to the city. That leaves a $58,000 gap between the cost and the value of the homes.

In all, the plan aims to put 34 two-story, single-family homes on unused land just to the east of Interstate 35E, just south of Phalen Boulevard.

The new housing would be complete with a pedestrian courtyard and a prime view of downtown St. Paul, as well as a glimpse of Minneapolis.

The plot of land is a combination of county- and city-owned space that used to have a variety of industrial activities. It once was a spot for city street sweepers to dump waste, and also held a steam locomotive repair shop and other rail-related businesses.

It’s since been cleaned up and is ready to be developed. All that’s left before the building begins is for the site to be re-plotted by the city.

Erchul estimates that will put the start of construction in late spring.

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com, or follow on Twitter at @ESRPatrickLark.

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