The Crossing at Big Lake Station

building arieal viewThe Crossing on Big Lake Station Connects Rural Residents with Transit; Opens Doors to Education & Jobs

July 2013 |The Crossing at Big Lake Station, a 33 unit townhome complex developed by Duffy Development, connects City of Big Lake residents to public transit, jobs, and services.  Adjacent to the Northstar Commuter Rail Line, the building's proximity to transit allows tenants to easily commute to employment hubs and educational facilities.

Building for the Future

The new the Northstar commuter rail line provided an opportunity for the City of Big Lake to attract new development and economic growth.  Adopting a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan, the city envisioned a walkable community that integrates retail, housing, and transit. Tapping into the TOD vision, Duffy Development received city support to launch a multi-phase development plan, transforming 12 acres of foreclosed land into a mix of senior, affordable, and market rate rental housing.

The Crossing on Big Lake Station townhomes was completed in 2012, creating affordable homes for 33 working families.

The development includes:

  • 29 units for families at 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
  • 4 units for families experiencing long-term homelessness.
  • Underground parking designed to be energy efficient and cost effective
  • Trails that connect residents to a city park and the Northstar line.

Underground parkingThe building's layout and construction materials were selected to mitigate sound from the rail line and enhance energy efficiency. The unique design also provides tenants with two underground parking stalls, which minimize the project's carbon footprint and operating costs.

The Crossings is the result of a partnership with the City of Big Lake and Greater Minnesota Housing Fund. Connexus Energy provided assistance with the building design, and the Salvation Army provides supportive services to residents.

Resident Spotlights

Lashanda, a single mother with two children, became homeless after struggling with addiction. Bouncing from one shelter to the next, Lashanda and her children struggled to find stability.  When the Salvation Army suggested that she move from Minneapolis to Big Lake, she was afraid of leaving her social network behind. Since moving to the Crossing, Lashanda has built a new life.  She is thriving in Big Lake's rural atmosphere with support of her neighbors.

Cathy struggled with an abusive relationship and unstable living situation for years. Being handicapped, locating affordable and accessible housing posed an additional challenge. Moving into an accessible unit at the Crossing connected her with a strong neighborhood support system and empowered her to pursue her educational goals. She is currently finishing her college degree, taking the Northstar back and forth to the Anoka Technical College each day.

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About the Impact Spotlight

The Impact Spotlight celebrates the work of affordable housing partners in creating healthy, sustainable communities. Pace-setting projects are selected based on ingenuity in housing development and collaborative efforts linking housing for low-to-moderate income families to transportation, jobs, or services.

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The Crossing

apartment interior 2

Apartment interior 3

crossing steps

The Crossing

Noteworthy Features:

  • Rural Transit Oriented Development connects affordable housing to a commuter rail line.
  • The building's "V" shape and construction materials mitigate sound from the adjacent rail line.
  • Building layout and design promote energy efficiency and minimize operating costs.
  • Trails connect residents to a city park and the Northstar line.

Year Built: 2012

Units Created: 33

Target Population: 29 families at 50% Area Median Income (AMI) and 4 families experiencing long-term homelessness at 15% AMI

Community Developer: Duffy Development Corporation

Development Partners:

Owner: Big Lake Homes Limited Partnership
Limited Partner: WNC & Associates, Inc
Architect: DBA Associates
General Contractor: Lumber One
Service Provider: Salvation Army

Major Funding Sources: