Rezoning approved to make way for housing development

Published 10:19 am Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Albert Lea City Council unanimously approved rezoning a piece of land on Monday that opens the door for more housing in Albert Lea.

The council approved rezoning the old Ramsey School at 211 E. Fourth St. from a one- to four-family residence district to a multi-family residence district.

Schoolhouse LLC purchased the property last year and plans to build 12 units on the building’s first and second floors in the first phase of the project. An additional approximately 17 units are planned to be built in the second phase, and an addition to the building is planned to accommodate second-phase development.

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As of last month, Schoolhouse had started interior demolition, and a construction timeline is not known.

According to city documents, what remains of the building was built in 1967. The Albert Lea School District used it in the 1990s for community education programs, but the building has been vacant for years.

The building has not been used as a school since 1980.

Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams said the project is going to be great for the community.

“Looking at rehabbing an existing building that’s essentially been vacant for a number of years and turning it around into something that we need in the community, which is workforce housing, market rate rental housing, is just phenomenal. I hope it is going to be a great success, and I think that they are going to be able to come back and do phase two in the near future.”

In other action, the council:

Established 2017 appointments and designations to various boards and committees.

Oversaw the swearing in of newly-elected councilors Rich Murray, Jason Howland and Robert Rasmussen and presented plaques to outgoing councilmembers.

Named the Albert Lea Tribune as the official newspaper for 2017 for matters required by law to be published.

Designated U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Securities, Stifel, RBC Capital Markets LLC and the Minnesota Municipal Money Market Fund as depositories of city funds.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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