Sun Current Editions Richfield

Current Richfield $ 1 Thursday, April 20, 2017 Vol. 47, No. 17 Problem-solvers A dream come true Public notices Richfi eld participants in the Future Problem Solving program advance to international competition. Page 2 Richfi eld alum Jessica January’s WNBA dreams came true when she was selected in the 2017 WNBA Draft. Page 13 Read the latest public notices from the city of Richfi eld and the Richfi eld School District. Page 16 City looks for lessons in Crossroads apartment sale Families were displaced, but crime is down and property’s value is up BY ANDREW WIG SUN CURRENT NEWSPAPERS A year and a half after Richfi eld’s largest apart- ment complex changed ownership, city offi cials are still trying to learn from a transaction that improved a property but sent hun- dreds of families packing. City Manager Steve Devich recently authored a memo outlining the cir- cumstances surrounding Soderberg Apartment Spe- cialists’ purchase of the Crossroads at Penn apart- ments. City leaders plan to use the document to guide future action in the event similar transactions occur. When Soderberg pur- chased the apartment com- plex, located across Penn Avenue from the Best Buy corporate headquarters, the new owners changed a host of policies that meant many tenants would no longer be qualifi ed to live there. Rent increased as a wide-scale renovation got underway. The new owners no longer accepted Section 8 vouchers, and the ten- ant limit was set at two per unit. Devich’s memo called the changes part of “a pro- cess that had very tangible impacts on the tenants and the community at large.” While 267 families were expected to be displaced from the 698-unit complex due to the changes, accord- ing to then-mayor Debbie Goettel, the property value increased dramatically as $13 million in upgrades were completed. The property was valued at $34,35 million in Janu- ary 2015. As of January 2017, it was worth $61.19 millio. That results in an expected $1.1 million in total tax contributions for 2017, compared to about $700,000 in 2015, accord- ing to the memo. Meanwhile, police calls to the property fell dra- matically, dropping from 273 in the six months before the purchase, to 45 in the ensuring six months, according to Devich’s report. A ‘blueprint for how we can do it better’ In the midst of the eco- nomic boost and public safety improvements, city leaders are still thinking about tenants who could be affected by similar transactions in the future. Speaking during an April 11 Richfi eld City Council meeting, Mayor Pat Elliott called Devich’s report a “blueprint for how we can do it better, and better protect the citi- zens and get out in front of these things before future owners acquire property.” City staff members have not identifi ed any way the city could have prevented the displacement of ten- ants, according to the memo, but Elliott hopes the city might better ac- commodate affected ten- ants by getting an earlier heads-up on similar pur- chases in the future. “It is likely that another large and highly affordable complex will be purchased in Richfi eld in the future in which the new owners will raise rents as a result of investing money into the complex,” Devich wrote. Any plans for such a scenario don’t APTS - TO PAGE 5 ‘Annie’ fi nds a home at Richfi eld High School Richfi eld High School performers have a laugh April 12 as they fi nish rehearsing the number, “A Hard Knock Life” for their production of “Annie.” From left to right: Christly Sumihi, Samantha Jeutter, Emily Maleck, Karen Vuong, Joey Lindvall, Bernice Mamana, Libby Palmer, Annie Pearce and Whitney Sumihi. (Sun Current staff photo by Andrew Wig) Richfi eld High School Spring Musical Performance: “Annie” Where: Richfi eld High School Auditorium, 7001 Harriet Ave. Show times: 7 p.m. April 27-29 p.m., 5 p.m. April 30 Tickets: $8, $5 for senior citizens City council candidates tout their community ties Hopefuls campaign ahead of May 23 special election BY ANDREW WIG SUN CURRENT NEWSPAPERS Who cares the most about Richfi eld? Four candidates for city council are trying to con- vince Ward 1 voters of their loyalty to the city as they campaign ahead of the Tuesday, May 23, spe- cial election. “I’m part of four genera- tions of Trautmanns that have lived in Richfi eld,” said Richfi eld High School graduate Simon Traut- mann. “ ... I’ve been invested and serving Richfi eld for all my adult life. Our fam- ily bought our fi rst home in Richfi eld.” Candidate Gordon Hanson mentioned Sun Current 10917 Valley View Rd. Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-829-0797 Gordon Hanson Brandt Krueger growing up in Minneapo- lis, just north of Richfi eld. He remembers growing acquainted with the neigh- boring suburb as his par- ents frequented its shops, memories old enough that he recalls when Arc’s Value Village was the Country Club Market. “I can share memories about that with a lot of folks,” said Hanson, who’s lived in Richfi eld for about 24 years total. “I’ve just always loved being in involved in the community,” he said. Candidate Brandt Krueger has called Richfi eld home for 12 years. “I’m all in on Richfi eld,” he said, noting that he and his wife also work in the city. Plus, like all four candi- dates, Krueger has been sending his children to Richfi eld Public Schools. As candidate Zack Ol- son summarized his ties to the city, he noted he and his wife started their family in Richfi eld. “I believe strongly in civ- ic duty and felt this was an opportunity for me to pro- vide a service to the com- munity I’ve lived in for the last 10 years,” Olson wrote in an email. Simon Trautmann general involvement the city, two candidates – Krueger and Olson – cited professional experience with technology as one qualifi cation for the coun- cil seat. Kr