Council Livable Communities grants support land use/transit connections

Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Metropolitan Council has approved $7.5 million in grants to projects throughout the metro area, including a mixed-use office building in Minneapolis’s Uptown, a mixed-use development near the Apple Valley Transit Station and METRO Red Line, a neighborhood in Carver that integrates transit, and redevelopment of an historic manufacturing business in downtown Hastings with access to a nearby trail system.

Site of Carver Crossings, a planned multi-family housing development project in a neighborhood near a park-and-ride facility.The eight Livable Communities Demonstration Account grants in six cities will help to expand economic development opportunities, intensify and integrate land uses around transit, promote housing affordability near areas with job growth, encourage transportation options that connect neighborhoods and people to jobs, and prompt other public and private investment.

Investments for a competitive region

“They are investments that help to keep communities healthy, connect people with places, ensure the region remains competitive and dynamic, and maintain the quality of life that continues to attract not only residents, but quality employers,” said Council Chair Sue Haigh.

To be eligible and compete for funding, metro area communities must participate in the Livable Communities program.

“The Livable Communities program, now in its 20th year, is a tool the Council has to support regional priorities of efficiency, affordability, and connecting people with jobs and other important destinations. I’m always pleased when we have the opportunity to award these grants to our partners in local government,” said Haigh.Plan for the Carver Crossings multi-family development.

Grant Awards

  • MoZaic East, Minneapolis—$1.25 million to help fund various elements of a redevelopment project that will replace a surface parking lot with a mixed-use office building that will also include commercial and retail space. Many of the enhancements this funding round will strengthen connections to the surrounding Uptown neighborhood.

  • Broadway Flats, Minneapolis—$500,000 to help pay the costs of relocating utility lines and soil grading at this redevelopment site. The project includes a four-story, mixed-use building with retail space on the ground floor and up to 103 units of affordable rental housing on the three floors above. The rental focus is workforce housing that serves transit-dependent households near public transit.

  • New Phalen Village, Saint Paul—$700,000 to contribute to site acquisition that will facilitate development of affordable townhomes and apartments, a new mixed-use building, and commercial/retail/office space with traffic calming and improved pedestrian elements.  Changes will intensify development, make the area more walkable, and incorporate a stormwater management system.  

  • 72 Cesar Chavez, Saint Paul—$550,000 to help pay costs of a stormwater management system, soil grading and other public amenities for this project, which is a mixed-use development that will contribute to the revitalization of District del Sol, a major commercial project on the city’s West Side. The project includes 40 units of affordable housing and nearly 4,500 square feet of commercial space, including an arts center.

  • Village Pointe Plaza, Apple Valley—$1,148,639 to contribute to site acquisition for this project, which is the latest phase of the Central Village development. This mixed-use project will include 78 units of senior-owned housing, retail and office space, and a grocery story on a vacant lot in close proximity to the Apple Valley Transit Station and METRO Red Line. 

  • Great River Landing, Hastings—$980,000 to help pay for various enhancements at the site of the redevelopment of the historic Hudson Manufacturing Building in downtown Hastings.  The 100,000-square-foot project will include 56 units of rental and ownership housing, community events space, arts-related uses, recreational outfitters, food service, and a major public riverfront landing connection to the river’s trail system and the Hastings Station of the planned Red Rock Corridor.

  • Twin Lakes Redevelopment, Roseville—$1,181,361 to help fund various elements of the redevelopment of a blighted, underutilized industrial area,  and transform it into a walkable, amenity-rich, mixed-use residential, commercial, and recreational setting. Redevelopment includes construction of a 190-unit mixed-income apartment complex, with retail and office space, and completion of the last leg of the Twin Lakes Parkway through the development. It also includes installation of a stormwater management system.  

  • Carver Crossing, Carver—$1,190,000 to facilitate land acquisition and enhancements at a multi-family housing development that’s part of a neighborhood designed around a park-and-ride transit facility. The proposal includes innovative features for an exurban suburb, including various housing options, pedestrian and bike connections to other parts of the city, and access to transit.

The grants were reviewed and recommended by the Livable Communities Advisory Committee, chaired by Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland.

Investments create jobs, affordable housing

The anticipated outcome of the investment includes nearly 975 permanent jobs, more than 500 temporary construction jobs, and more than 350 units of affordable housing. The regional investment is also expected to leverage nearly $198 million in private investment and another $27 million in other public investment.

Transit-Oriented Development grants

The Council also approved three additional grants from the Livable Communities Demonstration Account Transit-Oriented Development category, two in Saint Paul and one in Minneapolis. All three grants are for pre-development activities:

  • Payne and Bush Street, Saint Paul—$20,000 to help pay for site plans, and community engagement and education for a project that proposes a 72-unit, four-story affordable family apartment building at Bush Street and Payne Avenue.

  • River Balcony, Saint Paul—$100,000 to help pay for master planning for a continuous public walkway along the downtown river bluff from the Science Museum to the Union Depot.

  • Glendale Redevelopment, Minneapolis—$100,000 to help pay for development scenarios and public involvement for renovation of the 184-unit Glendale Townhomes complex.

Since 1995, the Council has awarded about $307 million in Livable Communities grants, creating or retaining tens of thousands of jobs and leveraging billions of dollars in other investments.

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The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Council runs the regional bus and light rail system and Northstar commuter rail, collects and treats wastewater, coordinates regional water resources, plans regional parks, and administers funds that provide housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. The Council board is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor. 


Posted In: Communities, Housing, Planning, Transportation

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