Robin Hotel will be a home for Veterans
Robbinsdale City Council approves CUP authorizing the change
Robin Hotel at 4628 41st Avenue North, Robbinsdale will be transformed by the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. The hotel will soon be home to 11 bedrooms and four apartments. The Robbinsdale Planning Commission had recommended approval in August. The Sept. 19 Robbinsdale City Council meeting resulted in a 5-0 vote to pass a resolution in support of the project.
Robbinsdale Community Development Coordinator Rick Pearson and Jon Lovald of MACV spoke about the project to the council. The mixed-use area was determined consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan.
Pearson said the building, which was built in 1900 and later moved in 1958 to its current location, needs a lot of work inside.
“November 2022, Hennepin County acquired the property under the guise of preserving affordable housing and conveyed the property to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans without considering the severity of the nonconformities in terms of lot area and lack of off-street parking,” the resolution stated.
Typically, onsite parking of 15 spaces would be required for this size. However, the project was approved to have only 10 off-site spaces. Many of the people who will be living there do not have cars.
The building will be remodeled to comply with fire codes, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other regulations.
Lovald said the project will provide housing to veterans. Some of the residents will be people who have had difficulty finding housing and have experienced homelessness.
Staff will be there Monday through Friday. Some people may treat the space as transitional housing while others could live there permanently.
Council Member Regan Murphy said, “I look forward to the changes and welcoming the new neighbors.”
Lovald apologized that the project “requires so many conditional use changes to make it better.”
“But we believe that it’s gonna be better for the city and for the individuals living in there,” Lovald said.
“Well it’s not unusual to have a variance or conditional use permit conditions,” Mayor Bill Blonigan said. “It is unusual to have seven public hearings, or one public hearing that was continued six times. And so your proposal has been examined inside and out …and it’s a noble cause try to help people that served our country, veterans, and who are having trouble transitioning from whatever problems they’ve had into a better way of life.”
Council Member Mia Parisian complimented the staff and Planning Commission for all the work they’d done on the project.
“Please let us know for any opening event that you might like to invite the council to,” Parisian said.
Parisian also asked if Lovald would reach out if the Robbinsdale community could help with future needs for the MACV building.
Blongian said that the location is a bus station and could in the future be near a light rail station, making it an ideal location for people who might not have their own vehicles.
Council Member Sheila Webb added that her father is a veteran and she too felt the cause was noble.