Concept plan

Movin’ Out is proposing the construction of an apartment building with about 100 units and 2,700 square feet of commercial space for West Cottage Grove Road in Cottage Grove. A concept plan was presented to the village’s plan commission late last month.

Nearly two years after village officials said no to a Casey’s General Store, Cottage Grove Plan Commission members appear receptive to a proposal to build an apartment complex on West Cottage Grove Road at Sandpiper Trail.

Movin’ Out, which has spent decades specializing in providing affordable housing for families that include a person with a disability, proposed a building of about 100 apartments to the plan commission at its July 29 meeting.

“Cottage Grove doesn’t really have any standardized, family, affordable housing, and this is an opportunity … to avoid the competitive process and get something in the ground sooner rather than later,” said Megan Schuetz, real estate developer with Movin’ Out.

As currently proposed, the project features a single three-story building with about 2,700 square feet of retail space and 105 apartments.

“The building is configured in a U shape fronting the streets with parking, a courtyard, and a playground behind the building,” wrote Erin Ruth, village planner, in his staff report. “It could provide a solid anchor for the development of the surrounding properties and would provide initial increment to the new TID (tax incremental district).”

Schuetz said the plans currently show 105 units, but she said the final number will be closer to 100.

She said Movin’ Out has worked on 17 multifamily developments since starting the division 10 years ago, often with partnerships with for profit developers.

“Our mission is to find affordable housing solutions for households where one family member has a disability,” she said, adding that multifamily units integrate those families with others without disabilities.

About one-quarter of the units would meet the group’s original mission.

“This is about 83 percent two-bedroom or three-bedroom and 17 percent one-bedroom,” said Adam Fredendall of JLA Architects.

Schuetz said construction of the $22 million project could begin in the second quarter of 2020.

The entire building would be about 14,000 square feet and would include a landscaping buffer between it and adjacent residences, Fredendall said. There would also be a central playground and space potentially for community gardens.

“There is not underground parking,” he noted.

Movin’ Out is currently working on a similar project on Cottage Grove Road in Madison, the site of the former Sentry grocery store.

Schuetz acknowledged there are many more steps to take before Movin’ Out could receive final approval.

“Our design is a starting point,” she said. “We would like to work with you guys in terms of what works, what you’re looking for.”

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