Developer Tim Baylor — flanked by employees, equity partners, supporters and city officials — broke ground Thursday on the biggest market-rate housing project ever on the main commercial artery of north Minneapolis.
After seven years of planning and raising funds, Baylor launched phase one of a $68 million project that will eventually include up to 220 apartments and some commercial space on three blocks along lower W. Broadway.
The first phase of 112 apartments will be mostly targeted at middle-class renters, with 20% reserved for those with incomes of up to 60% of the Twin Cities area median.
Baylor, a Washington, D.C., native, stayed in Minneapolis after playing for the Minnesota Vikings, building a career as a corporate real estate manager and McDonald’s franchisee on the North Side and elsewhere in the Twin Cities. He formed JADT Development, with Doris, his wife of 48 years, their son and other employees.
“If I excel at anything … it’s translating an idea into action,” Baylor told a crowd of several hundred at the construction site Thursday. “And I love playing in the [real estate] dirt. And Doris has been sympathetic. Most of the time.”
Several speakers praised Baylor as doggedly determined to put together a plan and package that involved acquiring several properties, myriad city and community approvals and assembling a complicated mosaic of equity and debt financing over what will be a few years of construction on the entire project.
“Tim asked to create a quality building for a quality community,” said Mohammed Lawal, the founder of 11-year-old LSE Architects, and a North Side native. “I said at times we need to make the vision smaller … than 216 units of housing on three blocks.”
Baylor stuck with the game-changing plan that sought to significantly revitalize a community that is disproportionately lower income and composed of people of color.
“A vision came to fruition and it’s a bright day on the North Side,” said Mayor Jacob Frey, who noted the lack of investment and “intentional segregation” that has historically plagued the area. “Tim and Doris … seek diversity of people and social-economic class. This just doesn’t fill in a gap, but revitalizes a community.”
The key financial players include Catalyst Opportunity Funds, an institutional investor from Utah…
Read More:Construction starts on $68M apartment, commercial complex in north Minneapolis