RISE Modular and the City of St. Michael break ground on first market-rate apartment development in decades

The 82-unit rental apartment building is the first of a four-phase development immediately adjacent to the city’s town center

(ST. MICHAEL, MINNESOTA) Today, City leaders gathered with developer/modular-manufacturer RISE Modular as well as other project contributors to break ground on the first of an ambitious four-building master-planned development in the heart of St. Michael. The project has been long anticipated by the community as many consider it a key chapter to the City’s Town Center investment, which began more than 15 years ago.

“RISE Modular is very pleased to begin construction activities on St. Michael Apartments,” said Christian Lawrence, founder and CEO of RISE Modular. “Market-rate at this scale will be a great addition to the area, bringing more rental options to the St. Michael community and vitality to the Town Center.”

Located at the intersection of Town Center Drive and Larabee Avenue, St. Michael Apartments will be a three-story rental apartment community with units ranging from studios to three bedrooms, accommodating a variety of residents including first-time renters, small families and people looking to downsize.

“When the City established the vision for town center, it was planned to be a more urban development with a mix of commercial, civic and high-density residential,” said Marc Weigle, community development director for the City of St. Michael. “St. Michael Apartments is the fruition of that plan and its addition will help support the existing businesses in the area with both customers and employees and provide more options for young people, those in transition, and growing families.”

The design and amenities of St. Michael Apartments are on trend with what is being constructed throughout the Twin Cities area. The exterior will feature a flat roof with a mix of brick and metal for the facade. Building amenities include a fitness room, a dedicated bike storage room, a community room for small gatherings and underground parking. RISE Modular will also extend a path that integrates into the City’s trail system and Town Center Park.

St. Michael Councilmembers were joined by Weigle and Lawrence as well as St. Michael Apartments’ architect Scott England of DJR Architecture and members of RISE Modular’s development, construction and mod-manufacturing team to celebrate the groundbreaking.

RISE Modular is performing all development, construction and modular manufacturing services for St. Michael Apartments. The project is financed by Bridgewater Bank. Onsite property management will be provided by Granite City Management located in St. Cloud, Minn.

In addition to being St. Michael’s first market-rate apartment community of this scale, St. Michael Apartments will also be RISE’s first commercial volumetric modular project constructed outside Minneapolis/St. Paul. This means the project will begin constructing modules offsite at RISE’s manufacturing facility in Owatonna, Minn. concurrently with onsite construction activities. The completely finished modules are then trucked to the site where they are lifted by crane and then stacked and joined to form the apartment’s structure. Because each unit will have been completed offsite, onsite construction activities will be considerably shorter and of higher quality than traditional construction methods. Materials are not exposed to weather, dirt or debris and because work is completed in a temperature-controlled manufacturing facility, RISE has the ability to fine-tune work and deliver a level of precision unavailable in field assembly.

The RISE team anticipates a ten-month construction duration for the St. Michael Apartments project, expecting to welcome residents in Fall 2022.

RISE Modular is also the master developer of the entire site and plans to develop a range of housing products, including senior housing, on the other three parcels. The development is expected to add a total of 350-plus units to the St. Michael community by its completion.

The above release was published in St. Michael Press & News, September 22, 2021