Council awards millions in grants to clean up sites, promote redevelopment

Date: Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Metropolitan Council has awarded more than $3.4 million in brownfield cleanup grants. The Livable Communities awards will help clean up 47 acres, create or retain more than 2,000 jobs, increase the net tax base by more than $2.8 million, help to produce or preserve more than 300 affordable homes, and encourage more than $280 million in other public and private investment.

“These grants are a critical redevelopment tool and get a remarkable return on investment,” said Council Chair Adam Duininck. “The funding leverages additional investment of both public and private dollars in jobs, tax base, and housing opportunities, and promotes a more livable, sustainable environment.”

The brownfield funding awards include 12 cleanup grants to three metro area communities, Fridley, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul. Eastside Weehouse Ecovillage project will include small-scale housing near transit in Saint Paul.

Among the projects awarded funding is pollution removal at part of a Fridley site that was home to the Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant. The site will be developed into office-warehouse and industrial space. Another grant will address asbestos at a senior living facility in Saint Paul.

The Council also awarded two additional grants, of $50,000 each, that will support pre-development activities at the Eastside Weehouse Ecovillage in Saint Paul. These grants support innovative design for small sites along transit corridors. The development will promote connections between people and jobs and other destinations.

In addition to the grants for polluted site cleanup, this funding round includes a pilot grant to encourage development in an area of concentrated poverty that shows potential for job creation.

Pilot grant

  • University Avenue Inc.—(former Lexington Library), Saint Paul—$13,500 to assist with environmental site and hazardous materials assessment and abatement plans at the existing vacant building.

Contamination cleanup grants

  • Northern Stacks Phase III, Fridley - $902,500 to facilitate soil remediation, soil mitigation, and treatment of contaminated groundwater at a vacant 30.7-acre site that was part of the former Naval Industrial Reserve Ordnance Plant. Development plans call for 446,400 square feet of new office warehouse and bulk distribution industrial space.

    Target Field Office Building will be a 10-story building next to the Target Field Station in Minneapolis
  • 117 27th (Avenue SE), Minneapolis - $175,300 to help with environmental investigation at a two-acre site that has been used as office and warehouse space, and historically for automobile and locomotive repair. The site will house two five-story, market-rate apartment buildings.

  • 4041 Hiawatha (Avenue), Minneapolis - $58,800 to assist with soil remediation and soil vapor mitigation at a 1.8-acre site that was used for manufacturing purposes. An existing building will be renovated into 78 affordable apartments.

  • ABC Industrial Development, Minneapoli - $150,000 to facilitate environmental investigation, asbestos and lead-based paint abatement, and contaminated soil disposal. Development plans include a six-story, mixed-use building with 143 market-rate apartments.

  • Aeon Prospect Park, Minneapolis - $201,300 to help dispose of contaminated soil at a small site that was used by various industrial tenants and Habitat for Humanity. Development plans include 66 affordable apartments, seven market-rate apartments and 5,000 square feet for office or community room space.

  • Great River Landing, Minneapolis - $187,200 to assist with environmental site investigation, hazardous material survey, and disposal of contaminated soil at a vacant site that was used for auto repair and a fish processing business. A five-story building will go up with 72 affordable apartments.

  • PPL YouthLink Supportive Services, Minneapolis - $110,000 to help with an asbestos survey and abatement and soil remediation at a 1.1-acre site that currently serves as a drop-in center for homeless youth. Development plans include 46 affordable apartments and an addition to the existing youth service center.

  • Target Field Office Building, Minneapolis - $477,900 to facilitate environmental investigation and the disposal of contaminated soil at a small site that was used for parking and later a driveway for the adjacent Hennepin Environmental Recovery Center. Development includes a 10-story office building with commercial space.

  • 475 Cleveland (Avenue), Saint Paul - $213,300 to help with environmental investigation, abatement of asbestos and lead-based glazing, and soil vapor mitigation on the site of an office building where petroleum has been found in the soil and groundwater. Development plans include a four-story, mixed-use building with 57 market-rate apartments and commercial space.

  • Fillmore Avenue Apartments, Saint Paul - $174,400 to assist with environmental investigation, demolition, and soil remediation on a portion of a 16.7-acre site that is now largely vacant and was used for multiple purposes. Development includes 174 market-rate apartments.

  • Midway Senior Living, Saint Paul - $777,300 to assist with environmental investigation and asbestos and lead-based paint abatement at the existing building on Midway Parkway. The site will house 168 senior apartments, most of them assisted-living units, and 25 memory-care units.

Since the Livable Communities program became law in 1995, the Council has made more than 400 brownfield investigation and cleanup grant awards totaling more than $115 million. The awards are helping to leverage more than $6 billion in private investment, create and maintain 48,000 jobs, increase the net tax capacity by $102 million, create or rehabilitate more than 6,300 affordable housing units, and clean up 2,000 acres of contaminated properties.

Posted In: Communities, Housing, Planning

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