Sherman Closes on West Side Flats- 253 Units of Affordable and Market Rate Apartments in St. Paul

City of St. Paul and Sherman share vision to deliver affordable, environmentally-conscious, housing to downtown St. Paul.

{ST. PAUL, MINN, July 22, 2020}—Sherman Associates closed on West Side Flats Phase III A&B, a development comprised of two apartment buildings providing 253 market-rate and affordable rental units to downtown St. Paul on the river at the southeast crossing of the Wabasha Street bridge, just north of Sherman’s existing property, West Side Flats Apartments. The project unites remarkable efforts of private development, City of St. Paul Planning and Economic Development, the Mayor’s office and St. Paul City Council in a transaction that utilizes financing tools for market rate housing to support the development of a model Passive House affordable apartment building.

The buildings also feature Sherman’s focus on positive community impact and will be fueled by Sherman’s developed solar gardens and associated programs. In addition, the affordable building will comply with Passive House building standards.  Passive House standards that are an approach to design, engineering, and operations aimed at reducing building energy usage up to 80%.  Architect, Kaas Wilson, and general contractor, Frana Companies are critical colleagues in ensuring the development’s success and community impact.

The closing of the two properties, and commencement of construction, is the result of nearly six years of planning and community partnerships. The transaction employs a unique financing structure that allows the affordable development to be financed, in-part, with proceeds generated by the market rate development.  This structure incorporates Sherman equity, grants from the Metropolitan Council and the Department of Employment and Economic Development, tax increment financing (TIF), City of Saint Paul HOME loan and lenders including National Bank of Commerce, RBC Community Investments, MinnWest Bank, Whitestar Capital, and Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust.  Will Anderson, Sherman’s Senior Developer, leads the two developments and states that the complicated nature of the financing structure required the ingenuity of many critical parties.  “There are many people committed to the success of building this community, we thank the City of St. Paul PED, the West Side Community Organization, and City Councilmember Noecker for their involvement and efforts.  We are appreciative of their support.”

Building A- The Scenic- 171 Units of Market Rate Housing Building A, named The Scenic, is a $46.9 million dollar apartment property built on the Mississippi River that will offer rooftop views of the St. Paul skyline across the river.  The property will feature luxury amenities including a pool, fitness studios, lounge rooms, dog run and rooftop terrace.  Apartment units will include high-grade finishes and smart home technology allowing for unit controls aimed at resident energy savings.  The building will be constructed to meet the City of Saint Paul Sustainable Building standards including compliance with the State SB2030 energy conservation requirements.

Building B- Verdant- 82 Units of Affordable Housing- Passive House Building B, named Verdant, is a $28.6 million development that will bring 82 units of affordable housing to the neighborhood.  Verdant utilizes a variety of financing sources that will allow rents for households earning 50-60% of area median income.  These affordability restrictions will be in place for 40 years.  Affordable housing resources include Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and HUD’s HOME investment program. Passive House building standards direct specific building envelope design strategies, including insulation, triple pane windows, and ventilation engineering, that reduce energy usage up to 80% passing additional savings to residents at Verdant.

Both buildings will commence construction immediately and should be complete Fall of 2021.