Duluth Mayor, CAO Release Statements About ‘Lincoln Park Flats’ Partial Changes To Hotel Units

Lincoln Park Flats

DULUTH, Minn. –  Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and Chief Administrative Office Noah Schuchman released joint statements late Friday involving a newly built apartment building in Lincoln Park that could potentially be changing a floor to boutique hotel units, which the city said was not what was originally presented for development.

Statement from CAO Schuchman:

“The City of Duluth and DEDA are working with the developer on finding a viable solution in line with the contractual obligations of the development agreement. While the City does not have legal standing to prevent the end of a resident’s lease, we have asked the property owner to stop action on affected residents as an act of good faith as these conversations continue.”

Schuchman also sent an email to city council, acknowledging that P&R Companies had received a hotel permit during the project.

“The City is aware that a hotel permit was issued for Lincoln Park Flats. The permit was issued without extensive review because the hotel land use is permitted by right in this zoning district and the permit is a very simple process due to significant overlap between regulations for a new apartment building and a hotel. The City has flagged same/similar developments in the land use system moving forward to make sure additional review is done should a similar issue arise so this does not happen again.

Along with City and DEDA staff, the City Attorney’s office and I met with the developer on Friday afternoon and had productive discussions, with more to come next week. Housing continues to be the priority, as is keeping this building open.”

Statement from Mayor Larson:

 “As a community we value local investment, local job creation and meeting local housing needs – and we have been working tirelessly for years to add units across Duluth. The possibility of losing units is slippage we really can’t afford as a community.

We are focused right now on getting the best possible outcome for Duluthians. Our efforts are focused on working with local developer P & R, who has invested across the community in important and meaningful ways, to keep this building open as a residential apartment building. We need this neighborhood to succeed, we need to keep people housed and we need to protect the public investment we’ve already made. My administration, city staff and City Councilors are working hard to accomplish all of this.”

P&R Properties recently notified second-floor tenants that their lease would end after its first year of operation in June.   That equals 24 units.

Earlier this week, a spokesperson with P&R said the business model had to change because of financial challenges.

“We are coming out of one of the most challenging times of building developments; a time when we were one of only a few developers still providing work that supported local families during our emergence from Covid,” said Ryan Nelson, co-owner of P&R Companies. “This addition of a Boutique Hotel offers us some financial flexibility and stability at this property.”

FOX 21 reached out to P&R Friday evening for comment about the city’s newly released statement.

Statement from P&R Companies:

“As of last week, we are able to confirm that all residents wishing to renew leases at Lincoln Park Flats are able to do so, based on the number of people who’ve stated that they would like to renew rental agreements. All are able to move to similar apartments as they occupy currently, on the third and fourth floors. As previously stated, Lincoln Park Flats continues to offer 23 apartments at an affordable rate, per the development agreement with the City of Duluth.”


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