Minnesota Article

Developers Pause St. Paul Projects After Rent Control Vote

Developers Pause St. Paul Projects After Rent Control Vote

Katie Galioto and Shannon Prather with the Star Tribune report on the fallout resulting from St. Paul’s new rent control policy.

Less than 24 hours after St. Paul voters approved one of the country’s most stringent rent control policies, Nicolle Goodman’s phone started to ring. Developers were calling to tell the city’s director of planning and economic development they were placing projects on hold, putting hundreds of new housing units at risk.

“We don’t want our equity goals to be at odds with our growth goals,” Goodman said in a presentation to the City Council Wednesday. “The ordinance as written may actually put those goals at odds.”

Voters’ decision Tuesday to cap annual rent increases at 3% sent developers into a frenzy, prompting some with stakes in Minnesota’s capital city to pause projects or reconsider sites for future housing.

Unlike most cities with rent control, St. Paul will not exempt new construction, which opponents argue will force lenders and developers to look outside the city for spots where they feel more confident that they will recoup investments and earn profits.

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