Meet with us to talk about your project! 

Schedule a time to meet with the program coordinator for this grant program to talk about the scoring criteria, funding opportunities and how your project fits in. Schedule a time here.

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Grants

Focus on increasing transit use
The Transit-Oriented Development Account (TOD) provides funding for moderate- to higher-density projects located within easy walking distance of a major transit stop which typically include a mix of uses.

To determine if your project site is in a TOD Eligible Area, use the “Make-a-Map” tool. Navigate to the “Layers” Tab and select “TOD Grant Areas”. 


TOD projects are expected to diversify uses and provide a higher concentration of amenities in compact transit station areas, contributing to high-quality pedestrian-oriented streets and public spaces encouraging the use of transit service. Through a focus on TOD, the Council aims to integrate transportation, jobs, and housing, leverage private investment, advance equity, and increase transit ridership.

TOD program goals:

  • Maximize connections between housing, jobs, services, transit and regional amenities like parks, trails, and cultural centers

  • Support dense, diverse development that that emphasizes pedestrian activity and increases transit ridership and multimodal transportation

  • Create more housing choices through introducing new housing types or preserving affordable housing; Minimizing the project’s impact on climate change through sustainable site design and building practices

  • Contribute to an economically prosperous and equitable region by creating living wage jobs and economic opportunity

Announcements


2022 LCDA Development Applications are Now Open

Applications due August 15th
Learn more about the application process on the Apply for LCA Grants page.


2022 LCDA and TOD Development Grant Panel Discussion

July 7th, 2022
10:00-11:00 AM
The Panel Discussion will feature past LCDA and TOD grant applicants and awardees to discuss their experience participating in the programs including suggested strategies and lessons learned.
Watch the webinar here


2022 LCDA and TOD Development Grant Technical Information Session

June 28th, 2022
The Technical Information Session reviewed key information for the 2022 LCDA & TOD Development Grant programs including a program overview, key information, application details and a Q&A session.
Watch the webinar here

TOD Pre-Development 

Pre-development is an independent program in 2022, find more information on the page: Pre-Development

TOD Zoning Implementation 

The Policy Development program, new to 2022, covers all policy based grants. It is an expansion of the previous TOD Policy funding. TOD policies will still be eligible, but the new program does not limit applications to just TOD policy. See the Policy Development page for more info.

TOD Development 

Development grants are for development or redevelopment projects that support Livable communities and Thrive MSP 2040 goals and are ready to begin construction within the 36-month grant period. Eligible costs may include stormwater management, public realm improvements, renewable energy systems, site acquisition and preparation, and rehab of affordable housing. Reach out to the program officer for more information on the program and eligible costs. You can also see what was funded last year

Scoring

  • Greater number of points available for TOD specific criteria in Compact, Connected Development evaluation
  • ​Additional points available to meet the minimum equity score in step one, and a greater emphasis of points placed on equity outcomes  
  • Expansion of jobs criteria to include training programs or other strategies that support economic stability  

  • Considering partnerships formed around the project rather than overall team readiness

Eligible Activities
New eligible activities (see Eligible Activities tab for details)
  • EV charging infrastructure or installation costs
  • Public restrooms (not including SAC charges)
  • Outdoor resident amenity spaces for affordable housing projects
  • General landscaping elements for affordable housing projects
  • Construction costs for affordable housing projects
  • Universal design elements to improve accesible connections to and within the project site
  • Landscaping to improve the pedestrian experience
  • Design and engineering fees for grant requested activities (up to 10% of the total award
Schedule
  • Development applications will be due in August, coinciding with LCDA applications, and funding recommendations will be made in December of 2022.

Match amount: No match required

Application limit: Three per applicant 

Award limits: Up to $2 million per city

Grant terms: 36 months (three years) from the date of award

Extensions: Up to two years

$5 million available with an award limit of $2 million per city. This award limit is geographic, not by applicant. This means that two projects in the same city submitted by different applicants (for example, a city and a county), would still count toward the $2 million award limit. 

TOD Development Timeline

August 15
Applications due at 3:00pm in WebGrants. Applications will open one month before they are due.
October
Applicants will be notified about the Step One review. Applications meeting the minimum score and the minimum equity score will move to Step Two.
December
Funding decision made by the Council

To determine if your project site is in a TOD Eligible Area, please use the “Make-a-Map” tool. Navigate to the “Layers” Tab and select “TOD Grant Areas”.  
 

  • ​A ½-mile radius of an existing station on the following transit corridors:
    • LRT: METRO Blue Line and Green Line 

    • BRT: METRO Orange Line, Red Line, A Line, and C Line  

    • Northstar Commuter Rail Line 

  • A ½-mile radius of a proposed station on the following planned transit corridors:

    • LRT: METRO Blue Line and Green Line Extensions 

    • BRT: METRO Gold Line, Purple Line (formerly Rush line), and D Line 

  • A ½-mile radius of a bus stop or station with significant infrastructure on high-frequency express routes. High-frequency express service is defined as bus service providing either six or more trips during at least one of the peak morning hours between 6:00 AM and 9:00 AM, or every 10 minutes during the peak morning hour.*

  • A ¼-mile radius of a bus stop along high-frequency local bus lines, defined as those routes providing service at least every 15 minutes between 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM on weekdays and between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM on Saturdays.*

* Due to changes in service frequency as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 service levels were used to determine 2021 and 2022 TOD eligibility. 

Additionally, projects located within a ½-mile radius of proposed stations on the following planned transit corridors are eligible for Pre-Development grants:

  • Riverview Corridor, B Line, and E Line BRT


Click map to view full-size in a new window 
Map of 2022 TOD eligible areas

Livable Communities grants support specific project activities rather than giving  to the project as a whole. As part of the application the project team will list specific activities and estimated costs. Livable Communities grants cannot pay for work done before the grant is awarded. Keep this in mind as you think about what activities you plan to ask to be supported.   
 

Some of the activities in the table are only eligible in some circumstances. Refer back to this list as you look through the eligible activity table.  

  • All affordable housing must be affordable for a minimum of 15 years at 60% or lower of AMI for rental housing, ownership affrodable housing must be affordable at 80% or lower AMI.
  • Site acquisition is only eligible for affordable housing units or for jobs projects that improve access for low-income residents.
    • Holding costs up to 5% of the requested site acquisition support or $100,000, whichever is less.
  • Support for activities that are eligible only for affordable housing units will be prorated to the percentage of affordable units in the project. For example, if 50% of the units are affordable, you can request up to 50% of the costs for that activity.
  • Design and engineering fees for eligible activities can be up to 10% of the total award amount. Design and engineering fees should be listed as line items in the requested activity section of the application.

TOD Development Eligible Activities

Eligible Activities
Ineligible Activities
Environmental Sustainability 
  • Infiltration swales or tanks
  • Landscaping that is an integrated part of the stormwater management system
  • Pervious pavement 
  • Green roofs
  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Fuel cells; and
  • Wind turbines
  • Project-specific or district-wide stormwater management plans, district-wide heating and cooling plans, and district-wide waste management plans that conserve natural resources and mitigate impacts on climate change
  • EV charging infratructure or installation costs
  • Photovoltaic cells
Project Site
  • Public space that encourages social interactions through design or programming. Elements to create welcoming spaces can include, but are not limited to: 
    • lighting
    • landscaping
    • seating and furnishings
    • sidewalks and paths
    • Wayfinding elements 
    • public restrooms (does not include SAC charges)
  • Public art design process to create an intentionally designed piece of public art which contributes to the identity or sense of place of the development project and/or surrounding neighborhood. The design process should include an artist or arts organization. 
  • Public art features, including but not limited to murals, mosaics, and sculptures, which contribute to the identity or sense of place of the development project and/or surrounding neighborhood. To be considered public art, it must be led and fabricated by a professional artist and/or art organization.
  • Playgrounds or outdoor recreational areas intended to serve residents of affordable housing developments  
  • Public community gardens or community gardens at affordable housing developments 
  • Demolition and removal of existing structures.
  • Grading and soil correction to prepare a site for construction.
  • Outdoor resident amenity spaces for affordable housing projects
  • General landscaping elements for affordable housing projects
  • Construction costs for affordable housing projects
  • City or neighborhood parks
  • Parks, playgrounds, or areas that are primarily for the use of the development project’s tenants or residents of market rate residential buildings 
  • Demolition, abatement, cleanup, removal, hauling or disposal of contaminated materials or debris.
  • Cleanup, removal, hauling or disposal of contaminated soil or debris.
  • General cosntruction costs for projects that do not include affordable housing
Improved Connections
  • New streets or street extensions only for local public streets
  • Public sidewalks, or trails that enhance the pedestrian environment and connect the project to nearby uses and amenities
  • Site-integrated transit shelters
  • Outdoor public bike facilities or outdoor bike facilities for residents of affordable housing developments 
  • Extensions or modifications of local public utilities that directly serve the development project
  • Publicly available portion of shared-use parking
  • Enhanced broadband connections for affordable housing projects 
  • Universal design elements to improve accesible connections to and within the project site
  • Landscaping to improve the pedestrian experience
  • County road improvements
  • Private sidewalks, amenities or amenity spaces specifically serving market rate residential development projects
  • Perimeter sidewalks or boulevards that do not improve the bike or pedestrian experience
  • Surface parking and parking structures without a shared public component
  • Expansion or extension of local public utilities not directly related to the development project
  • Transit infrastructure or capital investments e.g., transit stations, station platforms, and park-and-ride facilities.
  • Regional parks or trails and trails that would otherwise be included within a city’s capital improvement budget
  • Trail, sidewalk, or road connections that do not directly connect to or support the project site.
Design and Community Engagement 
  • Design workshops and community engagement activities that center those least represented and most impact by historic racial inequities (including but not limited to compensation for consultants leading work, participants, advisory committee members, childcare, food for engagement events*)
  • Design and engineering fees for grant requested activities (up to 10% of the total award)
* Food costs should be within Council limits and be purchased from DBE or DBE qualifying vendors
  • Architectural and engineering fees related to the general site or building or not related directly to grant-funded elements specifically listed as “eligible”
  • Traditional public meetings or other engagement activities required by law 
Site Acquisition for Affordable Housing and Jobs
  • Site acquisition for affordable housing projects or projects focused on bringing jobs to low-income areas. Eligible sites acquired after the date of award or for sites acquired within 12 months before the application is due are eligible
  • Holding costs up to 5% of the awarded acquisition amount or $100,000, whichever is less. 
    • Eligible holding costs include property maintenance, insurance, and interest.
  • Sites purchased more than 12 months before the application due date 
  • Acquisition for market rate housing or jobs not in low-income areas
  • Sites purchased by a project partner who will gain financially from the purchase
  • Site assembly for lands to be used for transit infrastructure.
Affordable Housing Preservation and/or Rehab
  • Exterior improvements to bring the building to code or improve energy efficiency of the building. Examples include window replacement, roof replacement, exterior finishing replacement (brick siding, etc.), or mechanical system replacement (Savings from energy efficiency should be passed on to the residents)
  • Improvements to interior of affordable units to bring building to code, increase energy efficiency, and improve the quality of life of current or future residents. Examples include low flow plumbing fixtures or energy savings appliances.
  • Improvements to indoor communal spaces. Examples include improvements to community gathering rooms, fitness centers, and areas in which supportive services are offered. 
  • Improvements to building grounds and outdoor community gathering spaces. Examples include landscaping, playgrounds, greenspace, and community gardens. 
Affordable and market rate units should be identical and evenly distributed throughout the building(s)
  • Legal fees associated with preservation 
  • Upgrades to market rate units  
  • Relocation costs 

TOD Development applications are scored in two steps. Step One is a review by a team of Metropolitan Council staff. Projects need to meet a minimum score in the Step One review to advance to the next round of review. Step Two is a review done by the Livable Communities Advisory Committee (LCAC). This 15-member review panel will make the final funding recommendation to the Council.    
  
Look through the scoring criteria and how each section is weighed to see how your project might score in the review process. In addition to the overall minimum score, applications need to meet a minimum equity score to be eligible for Step Two review.

A word document of application questions is available here

Development Scoring Table

LCA is focused on addressing racial inequity in the region given race is the largest predictor of inequitable outcomes in jobs, housing, and other LCA goals. Projects addressing racial equity will be prioritized in scoring. Projects addressing other inequities will earn points towards how they address those inequities but will not receive full points unless they also consider the intersection of racial inequity.

 

Step One

Step Two 

Category
Criteria
Points
Criteria
Points

What: Proposed Project Outcomes

Housing
  • Create or preserve affordable housing opportunities with priority given to projects that serve populations not currently served by the local housing market, priority for projects with the deepest affordability, and for those including supportive services or other needed services
  • Create new affordable housing that furthers the City’s ability to meet their share of the region’s need for affordable housing, considering what the need is across affordability levels; 
    OR
    Preserve and rehabilitate affordable housing, prioritizing communities at highest risk of losing Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) and/or communities with higher rates of housing cost burdened households 
8
  • Create or preserve intentional community connections and relationships in the development and support current or future residents through design, programming, and/or services 
7
  • Further equity outcomes in housing access*
2*
Jobs
  • Create or preserve permanent employment opportunities; priority  for projects with living wage jobs
  • Create or preserve jobs that support economic stability of the community in the project area
  • Create economic opportunity in priority high-growth and high-opportunity sectors of the region’s economy including health care, technology or environment; and/or advance city job growth priorities, and/or create/preserve industrial jobs with access to regional transit systems
8
  • Support economic growth of the community through expanded jobs options supporting cooperatively owned businesses or supporting the economic stability of the community the project is intending to serve
  • The business model, business type, or hiring practices of the business creating or preserving the jobs support economic mobility, economic stability, or wealth creation, especially among populations that experience economic disparities
7
  • Further equity outcomes in access to economic opportunity*
2*
Compact, Connected Development
  • Increase the level of station area activity through greater density or intensity of land use on the site or in the station area if new construction; 
    OR 
    Preserve or intensify land use and density on the site or in the station area in a way that uses an existing building more efficiently
  • Increase diversity of uses and activities and/or access to services and amenities in the transit corridor and station area, with a focus on complementary uses and human-centered experiences
  • Generate greater transit ridership, a higher diversity of trip purposes viable via transit, and reduce the need to use and own a personal vehicle
  • Takes advantage of available connections between housing, jobs, services, resources and amenities across the region using existing and planned transit and/or transportation systems
  • Further the transit-oriented nature of the station area as a node and/or district of TOD given the specific context of its communities and transit corridor; priority for projects that implement part of a broader adopted plan or vision for the transit station or corridor
15
  • Provide design-led strategies, specific to the population the project is intending to serve, that support or expand infrastructure for people to walk, bike, or use other kinds of transportation in and around the project site, including accessibility and universal design features, especially those that contribute to larger existing or planned networks
  • Catalyze or position the station area for additional transit-oriented development in a way that leverages public infrastructure and doesn’t contribute to displacement of existing residents or businesses
  • Create a welcoming public realm and access to green space that facilitates social interactions and increases community resilience within the site and throughout the station area
10
  • Further equity outcomes in access to  services and amenities and choice of transportation and transit options*
2*
Environment and Livability
  • Maximize access to local and regional parks and trails and green space through outreach, site design, or programming
  • Minimize greenhouse gas emissions
  • Conserve natural resources, including reuse/preservation of an existing building
8
  • Mitigate negative environmental impacts on residents or workers in the area; priority for projects in areas most impacted by past environmental harms
  • The project uses sustainable site and/or building design practices to increase resilience and mitigate environmental harm; priority for equitable environmental outcomes
  • Mitigate negative environmental impacts on residents or workers in the area; priority for projects in areas most impacted by past environmental harms
7
  • Further equity outcomes in access to local and regional parks and/or address environmental sustainability in locations where residents have been most impacted by environmental harms*
2*
 

How: Proposed Project Process

Process
  • Address a residential and/or workforce need that was identified by or with residents or workers most impacted by inequities*
5*
  • Provide meaningful engagement, including with stakeholders that represent the demographics of the residential and/or workforce community, centering those under- represented and most impacted by inequities
  • The project and the team use a strategic and integrated approach to addressing equity issues
7
  • The City is taking steps toward addressing inequities at the local level, especially efforts to implement equitable development practices*
3*
 

Who: Proposed Project Team

Project Team
  • The project uses partnerships between government, private for-profit, and nonprofit sectors
  • Local efforts to contribute to the project financially, considering the context of community capacity
8
  • The project team, including partners, is designed to be reflective and responsive to those under-represented and most impacted by the project
5

Equity

  • The project team, including partners, is designed to be reflective of and responsive to the community the project is intending to serve*
2*
  • The intended outcomes of the project will result in more equitable outcomes
2
Step One Total 65 Step Two Total 45
Applications must score at least 42 of the total 65 Step One points to move to Step Two with 12 of the 18 equity points (*) awarded. 
Total 
110
Applications must score at least 75 of the total 110 available points to be eligible for funding

After reviewing the funding availability, timeline, and eligibility sections please visit the Apply for LCA Grants page for details on how to apply for the TOD Development program. 

Please save all documents as compressed PDF files with the naming format: [Applicant_Project_AttachmentName]. For example, a site plan from City Y for their Downtown Development would be named City Y_Downtown Development_Site Plan. Contact the program officer if you have any questions about how to save or attach any of the required documents.  
  
“Make-A-Map” documents:  

  • Overview Map   
  • Aerial Map  
  • Parcel Map 
  • Walking Route Map  
Make-a-Map Instructions
  • Enter an address or landmark in the search bar to navigate to your project area. 

  • Click “Sketch the Project” and select Transit Oriented Development. Enter your project name. 

  • Use the zoom and pan buttons to navigate to your project site. Click “Sketch a Boundary” and, using the crosshair as a guide, draw the project boundary. A gray polygon with a red outline will begin to appear. Once you have finished outlining the boundary, double click to close the polygon. If there are multiple, non-contiguous parcels that are part of your Project, you have the option of sketching another boundary. 

  • Click “Sketch walking route” and draw the most direct walking route between the project site and the TOD station. Only draw the walking route along publicly-accessible (privately or publicly-owned) paths, plazas, or other pedestrian areas. Do not draw the route across parking lots. 

  • Double click to terminate the walking route. A linear distance is automatically calculated and depending on the number of stations available within ½-mile of the project, several station areas may appear. Click the drop-down menu and select the Named TOD-Eligible Station for your project. 

  • Select “Print” and “Create the maps”. The system will generate four maps for LCDA-TOD; a Parcel Map, Overview Map, Aerial Map, and Walking Route. Please be patient – depending on your connection, it can take up to one minute to generate the maps. 

  • Click each PDF to download them separately. See “Saving Documents” as a reminder for how to name each of the four Make-a-Map documents. 

Other required attachments:
  • Grant Requested Activities Plan A site plan clearly showing the location of each requested grant activity. If you are requesting funds for something that covers the entire site, like site prep, just make a note on the plan that the activity will cover the entire site.

  • Site Plan A plan of the entire site showing all ground floor uses, vehicle, bike, and pedestrian entrances, public and semi-public spaces, landscape details, and adjacent transit stations and/or stops.   

  • Context Map A map of the TOD station area neighborhood clearly identifying the development site and nearby multimodal transportation options; transit routes, stops, and/or stations; nearby public realm elements such as parks, trails, plazas, etc.; and nearby amenities, resources, or assets including community services, schools, shops, libraries etc. 

  • Elevations To-scale street, site, and building section and elevation drawings that show how buildings meet the ground, the articulation of the façade and the interior uses of the building, as well as the design of the spaces between buildings if more than one.   

  • Perspectives A ground perspective from any adjacent streets.

  • Resolution A resolution of local support from the applicant. Sample resolutions for projects coming from cities and counties or development authorities are available in the LCA Resource Library.  

Required for Stormwater and Site Acquisition Requests:
  • Stormwater management: A stormwater management plan that explains stormwater calculations for the site, outlines the stormwater management strategies, and supports the amount requested for stormwater management activities.

  • Site acquisition: an appraisal, or broker price opinion, stating appraised value of the property being purchased with the site acquisition funds. 

Grantees submit semi-annual reports outlining ongoing project progress. These progress reports are supplemented by details provided in each payment request. Depending on the activities included in your grant award, there may be additional reporting requirements. These will be included in the grant agreement.  For example, projects awarded funding for community engagement should document the engagement process and submit a final report with their final payment request. 
 
A final report is required with the last payment request. The final report will ask about project successes, the impact of the grant funding, and any challenges in completing the project.
 
As a grantee you are responsible for alerting the LCA grants administration team of any changes to the project. The grant administrator will work with you to decide if there needs to be an amendment to your grant agreement based on the project changes.

Development grants may be used as a loan for projects that include affordable housing partially financed through LIHTC. Grantees must enter into a loan agreement with the project owner and comply with additional reporting requirements.
 
Contact LCA Senior Project Administrator with questions regarding reporting requirements and grant follow-up
Samuel Johnson, Senior Project Administrator, (651) 602-1757 Samuel.Johnson@metc.state.mn.us

Brewpub funded by a TOD grant.

TOD grants promote moderate to high-density development projects located within walking distance of a major transit stop that typically include a mix of uses such as housing, jobs, restaurants, shops, and entertainment.

See LCA FAQ page for more information about LCA programs

What does TOD mean?

There are different definitions of TOD. At the Metropolitan Council, we define TOD as “walkable, moderate to high density development served by frequent transit with a mix of housing, retail, and employment choices designed to allow people to live and work without need of a personal automobile.”

How do I know if I am in a TOD area?
Projects within a half mile of Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail, the North Star Line or a quarter mile of an express bus are eligible. Use the LCA Make-a-Map tool to check if your project is in a TOD eligible area.

Should I apply to LCDA or TOD?
Reach out to the program officer for either or both programs to talk about where your project might be the best fit. We recommend self-scoring your project based on the scoring criteria for each program to see where you might be more competitive. It is helpful to pay attention to the category weighting in each program to better understand the priorities for each program. 

Can I apply to both LCDA and LCDA-TOD?
No. You should decide which program is a better fit for your project and apply to either LCDA or LCDA-TOD. You can also reach out to the program officer for either or both programs to talk about where your project might be the best fit.

I don’t have site control. Can I still apply?
Yes. You do not need to have site control to apply for the Development program.

Will the program pay for work done before the grant was awarded?
No, with the exception of site acquisition for affordable housing or jobs projects in low-income areas. Other than site acquisition, the grant money can only pay for work done after the grant is awarded. More information about paying for site acquisition is available in the Eligible Activities tab. 

LCA Project Data Profile Mapping Tool
 LCA Project Data Profile Mapping Tool to look up housing, demographic, transportation and job information about the census tract your project is located in. 
(Shapefiles and tabular data for the tract information can be found here)
 
Workshops
The TOD and LCDA programs are offered a series of technical assistance workshops in 2021 to help applicant teams develop competitive projects. This information, while from 2021, is still useful for current applicants.

The technical assistance was broken out into two parts for each topic: a one-hour webinar about the topic and a three-hour workshop to go deeper into how that topic relates to your project. Recordings of each webinar and key takeaway summaries are available below and in the Resource Library.

Project Process
Identifying community needs, specific project outcomes and impacts, and community engagement
Watch the Webinar
Key Takeaways Summary (PDF)

Equity
How projects can contribute to reducing racial disparities in the region
Watch the Webinar
Key Takeaways Summary (PDF)

Environment 
Conserving natural resources and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions 
Watch the Webinar
Key Takeaways Summary (PDF)

Design
Ensuring the project design connects to and addresses community needs, racial disparities, and sustainability goals
Watch the Webinar
Key Takeaways Summary (PDF) 

For questions on the webinars please contact LCDA or TOD program officers.
 
Prefer a PDF document of the key program pieces?
The Program Essentials document has key dates, funding amounts, eligible activities, and the scoring table. 
TOD Development 2022 Program Essentials (PDF) 
TOD Development 2022 Evaluation Explanation (PDF)

TOD Program Coordinator

Stephen Kilmek (he/him)
stephen.klimek@metc.state.mn.us