Proposed France 50 Project Looks to Add Apartments, Retail Space
Rendering of France 50 Apartments on the Minneapolis side of 50th and France Minneapolis city staff report

Proposed France 50 Project Looks to Add Apartments, Retail Space

Project in commercial district is on Minneapolis side of France Avenue

The commercial district of 50th and France is plenty crowded. But one developer sees room for just a little bit more.

The France 50 project calls for a five-story building with 45 apartments and 15,878 square feet to house “neighborhood-serving retail.”

While 50th and France is usually considered synonymous with Edina, any property there east of France Avenue is in Minneapolis. The France 50 project is on the Minneapolis side where it is slated to replace seven single-family and two-family homes. The new project would have two levels of underground parking.

The project is up for discussion late Monday afternoon before the city of Minneapolis Planning Commission. The proposal requires a rezoning of the parcels and a conditional use permit to exceed the maximum allowable building height on the site. Staff with the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) department are giving the project the thumbs up, recommending approval of the rezoning, conditional use permits, site plan review and the application for a preliminary plat.

The city’s staff report on the project is extensive: 101 pages.

The project’s owner/developer France 50 LLC is based in Minnetonka. St. Paul-based Momentum Design Group is the architect for the project.

Site control is not going to be an issue.

In an August letter to the city, Tom Dillon, the owner’s representative for France 50 LLC wrote:

“The principals of France 50, LLC, are longtime area residents and have owned and acquired the seven properties over the last 12 years.”

A note from the project architect included in the staff report says plans calls for tentatively starting the project in the second quarter of 2022 and completing it in the third quarter of 2023.

A September letter to the city from Craig Hartman, a partner with Momentum Design, offered this description of the project: “The streetscape, landscaping, active first floor and strong street presence will provide an inviting and mixed-use-style pedestrian experience and greatly enhance the public realm along France Avenue.”

The residential properties that would be razed are locate at 4901, 4905, 4909, 4913, 4915, 4917, and 4921 France Avenue South.