Proposed Affordable Housing highlights community & park connection

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

A proposed affordable housing development in Brooklyn Center, MN, called Wangstad Commons, will highlight a close connection to the city’s outdoor amenities.

JO Companies lead by Johnny Opara is working to develop a proposed affordable housing community on a city-owned 1.79 acre site at 61st Avenue and Brooklyn Boulevard.

The project was recently featured in the Sun Post. Here are some highlights of the project as featured in the article:

Wangstad Commons is pursuing tax credits from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and is designed to feature 54 units with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedrooms. Ten of the complex’s one-bedroom units will be set aside for supportive housing for the high-priority homeless population and individuals with disabilities.

The design explores ways to connect the property to the City’s Wangstad Park.

The park is “obviously a great benefit to have with this housing project,” said Joseph Kimbrell, Pope Architects’ Project Manager. “One of our key moves is to really focus on this connection to Wangstad Park and our community space and our community outdoor space.”

The buildings community room would be located on the corner of the building closest to the park, and an outdoor community patio will be connected to community room. Architects are designing a “procession of different experiences,” Kimbrell said, with residents walking through on their way from the patio to the park.

“We actually looked at a lot of textile art from some of the communities that are represented in Brooklyn Center and that’s where some of these design ideas came from. We really love the idea of partnering with a local artist to help with some of the patterning and geometric design of how some of that comes together.”