In February, the St. Louis Park School District decided to close the Eliot Community Center. Since then there has been lots of talk about what to do with the building.
On Nov. 22, the St. Louis Park City Council takes its first look at development guidelines for the property.
These guidelines, developed in recent months during several community meetings, outline a nearly all-residential future with six to 30 units per acre. It means a mix of condominiums, town homes or single-family housing, said the city's community development director, Kevin Locke.
Locke added that part of the site could still be used to house a civic institution, such as a community center or school. It is unclear if such an institution would use the Eliot building, which needs significant repairs, or if a new structure would be built.
Despite the residential focus, residents won't have to worry about a flood of new residents taking their on-street parking spaces. City zoning supervisor Meg McMonigal said that any residential development will be required to provide one off-street parking space per bedroom for any potential condos or town homes.
To help deal with any traffic congestion, the guidelines also urge developers to plan for so-called "multi-modal" transportation, encouraging new residents to take advantage of bike paths, sidewalks or the two MetroTransit bus lines that run along Cedar Lake Road on the Eliot building's south side.
Locke said the Nov. 22 meeting will give council members a chance to examine the guidelines and discuss modifications. No firm deadlines have been set as to when the guidelines will be sent out to potential developers.
Another former public building and property could also be redeveloped in a similar process, although not as immediately.
The former Cedar Manor Elementary, closed before this school year as part of a of the district.
"We're still looking at determining what the best solution is" for Cedar Manor, said Sandy Salin, business services director for the school district.
The district currently leases the building to three different schools: a French-language , a Montessori school and a program called "Transition Plus," a joint project between the Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Minnetonka school districts that serves 18- to 21-year-olds with disabilities. Unlike Eliot, because the building doesn't have any pressing maintenance needs, the district has the luxury of time to make a decision about any possible sale or redevelopment.