Council brownfield cleanup grants spur jobs, economic development

Date: Thursday, June 26, 2014

An investment of nearly $2.6 million in brownfield clean up will help create jobs, clean up land for redevelopment, increase tax base and promote transit-oriented development and private investment in the region, according to the Metropolitan Council.
Model view of reused Hudson complex facing northwest showing historic complex, green roof potential, and parking structure with wrap-around buildings.The Council approved 10 Livable Communities grants June 25 to five metro communities for projects including redevelopment at a former St. Paul brewery, an Edina office park, and a former manufacturing site in Hastings.
“These grants for brownfield cleanup are a critical tool that local governments can and do use to promote economic development and jobs creation,” said Council Chair Susan Haigh.

“The resources allocated in this funding round will help clean up 44 acres, create or retain more than 1,521 jobs, increase the net tax base by $3 million, help to produce 21 affordable homes and encourage nearly $196 million in private investment. It’s an excellent return on investment.”   More about the Livable Communities Tax Base Revitalization Account, which funded these projects.

Projects awarded funding


Contamination Cleanup grants


East Side Station, Minneapolis - $712,200 to assist with soil remediation and groundwater treatment at a 5.4 acre industrial site formerly used by an electroplating business and used historically by a streetcar repair business. Development plans include market-rate apartments, as well as retail and commercial space.
Pentagon Park South, Edina - $448,100 to help with asbestos abatement at an 8-acre site formerly used for commercial office space. Buildings on the site will be demolished for development of a hotel, and office and retail space.
Hamm’s Brewery Redevelopment, St. Paul - $385,700 to help with asbestos abatement on a portion of a larger industrial site that was home to a brewery. Some of the vacant buildings will be renovated into live-work apartments and a hydroponic farm. Multi-use development planned for the old Hamm's brewery. 
Nestle, St. Louis Park - $365,700 to help with asbestos and lead-based paint abatement on a large industrial site, formerly used by a food production business and historically used for retail sales of heavy machinery. Existing buildings will be renovated into multi-tenant office and industrial space.
800 West Broadway, Minneapolis - $205,800 to help with asbestos and lead-based paint abatement and petroleum mitigation. The nearly one-acre site was previously used for a retail furniture business and automotive dealership. The existing commercial building will be renovated for office, restaurant and retail space.
Phalen Park Office Center, St. Paul - $200,000 to help with asbestos and lead-based paint abatement on a 5.4-acre site that was part of a 3M manufacturing campus. A vacant building on the site will be renovated into office space. 
Hudson Manufacturing Redevelopment, Hastings - $93,400 to assist with asbestos abatement at a 2.4-acre site that was previously used for manufacturing and other industrial purposes. A building on the site will be renovated for apartment housing and commercial space, including a hotel, restaurant and additional amenities.
Mississippi Market, St. Paul - $92,000 to assist with environmental investigation, soil remediation, and soil vapor mitigation on one-acre of a parcel that was formerly used for a commercial laundry business. Plans call for a commercial retail development.
Miller Bag Building, Minneapolis - $23,600 to help with soil remediation at a 1.3-acre commercial and industrial site. The site had multiple prior uses, but was used most recently by a textile bag manufacturing business. Plans call for development of office space, as well as warehouse or light industrial use.


Contamination Site Investigation grants


Leef Services, Minneapolis - $50,000 to help fund an environmental assessment and response plan on an industrial laundry site. The site is being considered for housing, with nearby retail development in the future.
The Council received applications from eight communities in the first of two funding rounds this year, requesting more than $3.4 million for brownfield cleanup and investigation. Other funding partners include the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and Hennepin County.
Since the Livable Communities program became law in 1995, the Council has made hundreds of brownfield cleanup grant awards totaling over $104 million. The awards are helping to leverage more than $6 billion in private investment, create and maintain over 44,000 jobs, increase the net tax base by more than $96 million, create thousands of affordable housing units and clean up more than 2,100 acres of contaminated properties.
To be eligible and compete for funding, metro-area cities must participate in the Livable Communities program. 94 metro-area communities participate in the program, which provides funding for 

  • affordable housing

  • development that promotes mixed-use and connected land use linking housing, jobs and services, and

  • brownfield or polluted site cleanup.

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The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization for the seven-county Twin Cities area. It runs the regional bus and light rail system, including Northstar Commuter Rail, collects and treats wastewater, manages regional water resources, plans regional parks and administers funds that provide housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income individuals and families. The Council is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the governor.


Posted In: Communities, Planning

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