66-unit senior building will soon break ground in Inver Grove Heights

A rendering of the senior housing project being constructed at Cahill Avenue South and Cheney Trail. (Courtesy of Stevens Construction)

Public housing project will have affordable rents

Construction crews are finally about to begin work on Hillcrest Pointe Senior Living, a public housing facility on Cahill Avenue South and Cheney Trail in Inver Grove Heights.

The 66-unit development initially encountered protests from nearby neighbors who were concerned about the height of the proposed three-story building and worried their home values would drop once it was built.

After meetings between residents and the Dakota County Community Development Agency, the project is now moving forward.

“I think it’s hard. If you’ve had a vacant parcel for so long, it’s tough to embrace something new,” said Kari Gill, deputy executive director of the Dakota County CDA. “After we talked to them a bit, they said they felt that senior housing [would be] a good neighbor, and a good use of the parcel.”

After an unexpectedly long bidding process that began last fall, Stevens Construction of Bloomington was awarded the contract. The Dakota County CDA received only two construction bids last fall and decided to reopen the bidding process in January. Six companies submitted bids this winter.

Lyon Contracting of St. Cloud originally had the lowest bid, but it was forced to pull out after realizing it made a mathematical error.

Stevens Construction eventually won with a bid amount of $8.7 million. The incorrect Lyon Contracting bid was for nearly    $8 million. After realizing the mistake, Lyon announced that the intended bid amount was supposed to be nearly $9.6 million — a $1.6 million difference.

The CDA said there would be no consequences or attempts to sue due to the faulty bid.

“Great accessibility”

The facility will be built on a vacant lot across Cahill Avenue from Walmart and other retail stores. The land is zoned for office use and has been on the market since 1992. Before the Dakota County CDA purchased the parcel for $250,0000, the closest it came to a sale was when the Inver Grove Heights City Council approved a clinic for the site, but those plans fell through before development started.

Funds for the project will come from the CDA’s 2013 Senior Housing Project, and will cover the costs for the entire design and construction process. 

Construction is set to begin in late April or early May, with hopes to have seniors moving in by spring 2015. The 132,280-square-foot facility will have underground parking for residents, and monthly rents will reportedly be between $573 and $700. It will also have a paved trail and ponds surrounding the facility.

Gill also mentioned the great accessibility and proximity that the residents will have for their shopping needs.

“There’s so much commercial property very close by for the residents,” she said. “The Rainbow Foods, Walmart, the gas stations, the coffee shops; there’s a lot of retail convenience.”

Tim Faklis can be reached at 651- 748-7814 or tfaklis@lillienews.com.


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