Floor plans
Preliminary floor plan for the proposed units. Photo from city of Red Wing.

The former St. Joseph’s Church auxiliary building at 480 Eighth Street will soon be more housing. 

The Red Wing City Council unanimously approved the housing development’s preliminary plans. 

The developers who purchased the property have proposed six units in the building. There will be one-, two- and three-bedroom units, according to the preliminary plans. 

Many neighbors who live near the building attended the meeting on Monday night to voice their concerns about the proposal and how they feel it would change the neighborhood. 

One resident was concerned about the size of the building and the size of the units within it. 

“The issue is not five or six units, but the total number of bedrooms inside the building. The building will currently permitted for 24 adults living in approximately 4,000 square feet of a 7,500 square foot building in 12 bedrooms,” one resident said to the council. “The building suffers from an exclusive design and is why it has been difficult to reuse.”

Another resident was concerned with how fast the project was progressing with it being in a historic district. 

“Being in this conservation district, I had a porch that was collapsing and I had to go through many hoops because of the parameters. If there is a process for landowners then we should be on an even footing with developers,” another resident said. 

The developers attended the meeting to address concerns and questions from the council about their plans for the site. 

The council was mostly in favor of the project, they have struggled to find something for that building for several years. 

“I am a little frustrated because we did just pass the zoning change, and we did say that the neighborhood meeting was optional but given the history of this property I feel like that should have been well communicated prior to where we are right now. That feels like a missed opportunity,” council member Evan Brown said. 

The council asked if the developers would be willing to hold a community meeting with the surrounding neighbors to ease concerns and find compromises. 

“I would like everyone here to know that we are on the same team, and we want to make sure that we are working together with you guys to create the best win-win for everyone,” said Rashad Kennedy, one of the developers.

The building is a unique design and shape, and it has been a difficult task to find something to develop the property into. 

“I fully agree that this building probably should’ve probably never been built, but that was 50 years ago and I don’t know what to do. What other options do we have?” Brown said. 

The proposal was a preliminary plan and more exact plans will be reviewed over the next several weeks.

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