City Hears Plans for Redevelopment of Kozy Apartments

By KBJR News 1

May 28, 2013 Updated May 29, 2013 at 10:02 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The owner of the Kozy Bar and Apartments says he wants low income housing credits to help fund an $8.7 million renovation project for the site.

On Tuesday, City Councilors heard renovation plans for the complex.

Mike Conlan along with owner Eric Ringsred say they're seeking approval from the city to apply for $5.6 in low housing tax credits to fund the renovations.

The 125 year old building has been home to low income housing, and they want to keep it that way.

The Kozy Bar and Apartments has been labeled as blight since it went up in flames two years ago.

Conlan says they want to change that and provide a 40 unit low income apartment complex.

They also want to restore the historic architecture of the building and have already secured $2 million in historic tax credits for the project.

However, some city councilors say they're skeptical about having another low income housing complex in downtown Duluth.

There is already another project in the works to turn former Lincoln Park Elementary School into a low income housing unit.

According to our partners at the Duluth News Tribune, Mayor Don Ness suggested that the complex be turned into affordable housing for the work force which is also a need in the downtown area.

"A comment we have heard a lot is that don't we have a lot that kind of housing in the downtown area already? Yes, we actually do, but that's where the population is, they live on the fringes of downtown and honestly that's where the city encourages it," said Conlan.

Conlan also says that the number make sense to turn the Kozy into low income housing and hopes the city can find a way to support the Lincoln Park project as well as this one.

The city council will need to show their support in the way of a resolution.

After that, Ringsred will need to apply for the credits with the state by June 18 and will hopefully have an answer by November.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.