The Metropolitan Council approved four Livable Communities grants, including two grants to the City of Minneapolis to address damages on Lake Street from civil unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd.
The grants total $475,000 and are from an account in the Livable Communities program that funds project feasibility studies, site planning, and community engagement work.
“Livable Communities grants support local initiatives to boost the economy, create a diversity of housing, and promote walkable and transit-oriented spaces,” said Lisa Barajas, Met Council Community Development director. “These predevelopment grants help to ensure that adequate study, evaluation, and community involvement go into making these developments as successful as possible.”
The Met Council has been making Livable Communities grants to local jurisdictions in the seven-county metro area since 1995.
Projects include commercial spaces, affordable housing
International Food Village, Brooklyn Center: $100,000 toward planning for a proposed multi-phase development of a nine-acre site. The project would be anchored by an approximately 110,000-square-foot ethnic supermarket that is expected to create 100-120 living wage job opportunities. It also includes an African Brewery and a bulk purchasing establishment. The concept plan includes approximately 175 units of housing with 20% of the units affordable to households at or below 60% of the area median income.
Jema River, Minneapolis: $150,000 towards planning for reconstruction of a damaged property on the Lake Street corridor to replace seven affordable ground floor commercial/retail spaces for local entrepreneurs and add at least six affordable housing units. The project provides an opportunity for displaced businesses to return to the area and intensify the site with additional housing.
Re+4RM Project, Minneapolis: $150,000 toward planning for redevelopment of the damaged U.S. Bank site on Lake Street. Plans call for BIPOC and community ownership of development projects that include public realm planning and affordable commercial and mixed-use developments, each connected to an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage district energy system.
African American Community Development Center, Saint Paul: $75,000 toward a site search for a co-op that would serve the need for affordable multifamily housing. The development aims to create nontraditional pathways to home ownership for mid- to large-sized families with incomes at or below 60% of the area median income and increase home ownership opportunities for the BIPOC community.
Livable Communities program promotes prosperity, economic development
To be eligible and compete for Livable Communities funding, metro area cities must participate in the Livable Communities program, which provides grants for:
- Affordable housing
- Development that promotes mixed-use and connected land uses linking housing, jobs, and services
- Brownfield or polluted-site cleanup
- Transit-oriented development
75 cities and 1 township are participating in the Livable Communities program in 2022.