Stonebridge chosen to move forward with senior developmentDuring a Tuesday night work session the council voiced their confidence that Stonebridge would be able to move the long stalled project forward
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
One way or another there will be senior housing in Rosemount. On Tuesday the council held a special work session to discuss the merits of two interested companies in building a facility in town.
Frisbie Architects and Stonebridge Companies were both part of the original request for qualifications 18 months ago and continue to express interest in the project now.
During their second work session in a week on the topic, the council and city staff were quick to favor Stonebridge Companies to take on the senior housing project. City administrator Dwight Johnson started the work session stating that he felt it would be prudent to move forward with Stonebridge because of the city's past relationship with the council.
“I’m not neutral anymore. I think Stonebridge is the way to go,” Johnson told the council.
Council member Kim Shoe-Corrigan said after some thought she too felt Stonebridge was the logical choice.
“I feel very confident with Wally’s ability to get the work done. He has a work ethic… I think he will do a really nice job for us,” said Shoe-Corrigan.
After the rest of the council members also expressed their preferences to select Stonebridge, community development director Kim Lindquist said city staff would work with Stonebridge to move the senior housing project forward.
The city was forced to look for a new developer after Doran Companies informed the council in February that they would not move forward with the project after a market study showed less demand than they wanted.
After Doran dropped the project, the council had Frisbie and Stonebridge at a March 15 work session to share their visions for the project.
Matt Frisbie said his company felt comfortable building a smaller project. He told the council that his company has built smaller projects including in Lonsdale and Zumbrota. He added that they have worked with a number of senior housing management companies including Ebeneezer, Three Links and more.
Wally Johnson shared Stonebridge’s experience with senior developments. Stonebridge has built a number of senior housing projects around the metro including in Lilydale and Shoreview. Additionally Johnson mentioned that Stonebridge built the Waterford Commons building in Rosemount and has a good working relationship with the city.
Both Johnson and Frisbie said they would anticipate beginning the project this fall.
Council member Mark DeBettignies said despite the feasibility study completed by Doran, there is demand for senior housing in Rosemount. He noted that Cameo Place is full with a long waiting list.
“Certainly there’s a demand in the market place,” said DeBettignies.
DeBettignies added that the drama with that particular property needs to end and he trusts that Stonebridge will follow through.
The council directed staff to work with Stonebridge including getting some preliminary drawings completed. The project should come back in front of the council in the next month or so.
In 2011 the city put out a request for qualifications for a developer to build a senior living facility in Rosemount. Three companies, DRA, Stonebridge Companies and Frisbee/ Winkleman drafted proposals.
The council chose DRA because of its working relationship to the Ebenezer Management Services, a part of Fairview Health Services. However, the group ran into financing problems. DRA leader Jim Trucker then recruited Doran Companies to take on the project.
In July 2012 the council reviewed what Doran had to offer as well as Stonebridge Companies again. At the time, they chose to go with Doran. Since then they have worked on negotiating an agreement to move forward. Some rough drawings had been completed but no formal plans were created.