The New Forty-Forty Flats Is Uniquely Affordable

by | Jun 2023

Group of seniors playing a dice game on an outdoor patio.


The 118-unit senior community is set to open in October.

Forty-Forty Flats, a 118-unit 55+ housing community set to open in the late fall of 2023, checks all the boxes in terms of location. It sits adjacent to community services, transit, retail stores and other commercial properties. And it’s affordable, too.

The property, which is being developed by Lupe Development Partners and Ecumen, which will also manage the building, is located at 4040 West 70th Street. The City of Edina and Edina’s Housing Foundation own the land.

But how exactly did this partnership come to life? A two-story office building had previously sat on the property for this new development. “When the parcel became available, the Edina Housing Foundation bought it,” says Stephanie Hawkinson, Edina’s affordable housing development manager, noting that the property was already guided in the land use plan for up to 118 housing units.

The foundation’s team knew it wanted to develop the property for affordable housing units to work toward the city’s goal of creating 1,804 affordable housing units by the year 2030, in accordance with its 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

“Every city needs to do a comprehensive plan,” Hawkinson says. “Plans are based on migration trends, poverty levels and employment numbers,” among other things. The Forty-Forty development represents about 6.5 percent of the city’s goal.

A Request for Proposal was sent to developers, and the Ecumen and Lupe plan was selected as the winner. “You look for both strong owners and developers,” Hawkinson says. “In Ecumen and Lupe, we’re confident in both.”

Traditionally, affordable housing has been offered in smaller unit numbers within market-rate buildings. But Hawkinson says what makes the Forty-Forty development unique is that not only are all the units designated as affordable but it’s also only for seniors. Additionally, there’s a requirement in place that keeps this building affordable for 99 years. “Most developments only stay affordable for 20–40 years,” Hawkinson says. She notes that there are two other buildings in Edina where every unit is designated as affordable—The Sound on 76th and Amundsen Flats. They’re both family buildings.

Rendering of Forty-Forty Flats, set to open October 2023.

Rendering of Forty-Forty Flats, set to open October 2023. Photo: Forty-Forty Flats

While acknowledging the uniqueness of the 99-year commitment, Anne Stanfield, senior director of business development at Ecumen, says the nonprofit senior housing and services company is more than ready. “Ecumen has been around for more than 160 years,” she says. “We’ve committed long term to our communities, serving some for more than 100 years.”

At Forty-Forty Flats, leases will be restricted to qualifying tenants ages 55 and older with earnings ranging from 30–80 percent of the Hennepin County Area Median Income. Applications will open midsummer.

“We’re expecting demand,” Stanfield says. “We’re getting interest from Edina [residents] and interest from throughout the Twin Cities.”

Apartments will be available in studio and one- and two-bedroom configurations. Amenities include a fitness center/club room, rooftop patio, community garden, office center (workspace) and an art/community room.

“Designs will have the end user in mind,” Stanfield says. “The building will be ADA compliant, and the apartments will include grab bars in the bathrooms, lower countertops, wider hallways and hand railings … We’re really excited about it, and we think residents [will be] excited too.”

Forty-Forty Flats
4040 W. 70th St.; 952.232.0001
Facebook: Ecumen
Instagram: @ecumen_org


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