NB multi-unit housing project nixed

A 40-unit housing project, discussed at length by the North Branch City Council over a period of months, will not be built in the city — at least not next year.

The developer, MWF properties, was seeking to construct the affordable housing south of 400th Street and west of Cherokee Pass, but the project was contingent upon MWF receiving affordable housing tax credits from the Minnesota Housing and Finance Agency.

The city council approved the project by a contentious 3-2 vote at its April 23 meeting with Mayor Amy Oehlers and council members Joel McPherson and Kathy Blomquist voting in favor of the proposal.

Council members Ron Lindquist and Theresa Furman cast the dissenting votes.

North Branch City Administrator Bridgitte Konrad said she recently received a call from Chris Stokka, a development associate at MWF properties, and he informed her MHFA did not award the project the tax credits MWF was seeking.

Those credits were sought after by MWF because they would have helped offset some of the costs associated with building the five eight-unit buildings.

“Their  moving forward was contingent upon receiving those tax credits,” Konrad said.

If MWF still wants to build in North Branch, the company would have to approach the city again and go through the same process of meetings open to the public and further contemplation by the council.

As of press time, Konrad said she had not received word from MWF what its future plans might be.

The Post Review also attempted to contact MWF, but did not receive a reply.

  • Resident

    The original city plan was for single family housing south of 400th Street and multi-family housing north of 400th Street, to create a buffer for the existing 1-2+ acre single family lots in the existing neighborhood. Hopefully with a new mayor and more common sense council members who were elected, they will get back to the original plan.

    Maybe we can also consider adding some big box stores west of the freeway and get our economic development going so everyone doesn’t have to travel to Cambridge or Forest Lake to shop. We’re really missing the boat on revenue and we can’t afford to due that given the debt the city has.