Stillwater-based developer and architect Michael Hoefler said he fully expects his company’s proposed upscale apartment building and restaurant on Tanner’s Lake will become an award-winning project if and when it comes to fruition, he told the Oakdale City Council at a workshop meeting Tuesday, Jan. 24.
“That’s why we’re doing it,” said Hoefler, principal and owner of the HAF Group after answering a question about how the proposed apartment building would look from Century Avenue.
Plans for the site include a five-story apartment building connected to a restaurant on land where Toby’s on the Lake and Blackie’s once stood, located north of Interstate 94 and east of Century Avenue. The development would encompass all the city-owned land in the area as well as the land owned by the former proprietors of Toby's.
The building would contain a 50-50 mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, and possibly some studio apartments, Hoefler said.
Rent would be around $1,200 per unit, said Mark Haymaker of Haymaker Construction.
The group chose an L-shape for the apartment building so it would fit on the pie-shaped piece of land, and to maximize views of the lake, Hoefler said. About 70 percent of the units would have lakefront views, he said. Plans also include an interior courtyard with a patio, and a path leading to a pier on the lake, he said.
Restaurant plans include room to seat 120 people, an outdoor deck and a rooftop deck, he said.
Council members said they want to be sure the restaurant is a draw for the area.
Council member Stan Karwoski suggested something like Rudy’s Redeye Grill. He said he’d like to see the restaurant be the second of its kind, rather than part of a large chain.
Council member Kent Dotas said he wants the restaurant to “look like a destination,” rather than just a place for the nearby apartment dwellers to eat.
“We’ve been pretty successful with ,” Dotas said. “I’d like to see something even higher end than that, and take advantage of the water.”
Realtor Kim Kirchner Bockstruck had been marketing the site to restaurants before the HAF Group’s proposal came up, she said, and the addition of the apartment building to the plan has created a lot of enthusiasm among potential dining establishments.
The HAF Group will refine its plan and bring it back to the council in 30 days, said Community Development Director Bob Streetar, after which he’ll ask the council to consider entering into a preliminary development agreement with the company.
Manley Commercial and TOLD Development previously had planned to develop the site, Streetar said, however, both companies ultimately pulled out.