Council awards $10 million in grants to spur economic development and affordable housing

Posted In: Communities, Housing, Planning, Transportation
Date: 12/14/2016

The Metropolitan Council has approved more than $10 million in Livable Communities grants for affordable housing and mixed-use development that connects people with jobs, transit, and other services and destinations.  

Grants from the Livable Communities Demonstration Account and Local Housing Incentives Account will help fund, for example, affordable artists’ lofts in Hastings, redevelopment of Catholic Charities in Saint Paul, the first new affordable units built in Bloomington since 2008, and a new sustainable building construction technique for projects in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

The projects, combined, are expected to:
  • Add 730 affordable and 1,042 market-rate homes.

  • Create 92 permanent and 1,855 part-time jobs.

  • Increase the net tax capacity by $1.7 million.

  • Leverage nearly $400 million in private and other public investment.

“These grants are an essential tool that help leverage many millions more in other investments from the public and private sector,” said Council Chair Adam Duininck. “Many of these projects face financial hurdles and our Livable Communities funds make the difference.”

“Affordable housing is a prime example and a significant need in our region,” Duininck said. “These grants help to close the gap between what it costs to build housing and what lower-income residents and families can afford. It’s a win-win for communities, employers, and most importantly, for people who need affordable housing choices.”

Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Applicants are local units of government that participate in the Livable Communities program. Proposed projects must meet criteria that the Council has vetted and approved.

Since the Livable Communities program became law in 1995, the Council has approved grants totaling $315 million to assist projects that have created or retained 41,000 jobs, cleaned up 2,100 acres of polluted property for redevelopment, created or preserved 20,000 affordable housing units, and leveraged billions in additional public and private funds.

Grants for mixed-use development

  • Architectural rendering of Knox & American Blvd. project in Bloomington.Knox & American, Bloomington - $1,400,000 for demolition, site preparation, stormwater management and the extension of 80½ Street. The project is a continuation of redevelopment along the south side of American Boulevard between Penn and Knox Avenues, adding 248 units of mixed-income rental housing. The project will include the first affordable housing built in the city since 2008 and is located near the Orange Line BRT transit service. A major component is the extension of 80½ Street through the site with pedestrian enhancements.

  • Artspace, Hastings - $236,891 primarily to help with site preparation, stormwater improvements, connections to the regional bike trail and other amenities. The project will redevelop a former industrial site in downtown into a three-story mixed-use building offering residential, commercial, and live/work spaces with a preference for artists and their families. The project is intended to help catalyze downtown redevelopment.

  • Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis - $1,300,000 to facilitate site acquisition, demolition, site preparation, solar panels and stormwater management for a housing complex with 115 units of affordable/workforce housing. The development will provide a new housing option on an old industrial site, with access to transit. With green elements, the development offers the opportunity to compare energy efficiency and cost benefits of this type of construction to other buildings built to current Minneapolis sustainability standards.

  • Architectural rendering of new housing adjacent to Sabathani Center in Minneapolis.Sabathani, Minneapolis - $516,109 primarily to help fund stormwater improvements, enhancements, and the extension of utilities. The redevelopment includes 50 new senior units on currently vacant land. A plaza/courtyard area built between the existing community center and the senior housing building will connect the two facilities, and some senior services will be located in the new housing complex.

  • Commerce Park Apartments, North St. Paul - $600,000 for site acquisition and preparation. The project assembles nine parcels to build two, four-story apartment buildings for a total of 286 apartments, 57 of which are affordable. The project also provides connections to the nearby Gateway State Trail.

  • Cedar Point South, Richfield - $1,360,000 to help with site acquisition and the extension of Richfield Parkway and associated sidewalk.  The project includes 204 units, 41 affordable, in three buildings along the extended Richfield Parkway, which improves pedestrian and bike connections.

  • Dorothy Day, Saint Paul - $662,000 to help with site acquisition, demolition, and stormwater improvements.  The project redevelops the site of the current Catholic Charities in downtown Saint Paul, next to the Higher Ground project currently under construction. The development will provide 171 affordable units and feature social services such as veteran outreach, physical, mental and chemical health services, and employment training. The project also includes green elements.

  • Architectural rendering of West Side Flats, Phase III, in Saint Paul.West Side Flats Greenway, Saint Paul - $800,000 toward the design, engineering, and construction of Phase 1 of the Greenway regional stormwater management system. The Greenway is a stacked-function stormwater management system providing regional treatment for this area of the city with both functional stormwater management, as well as amenity and aesthetic value. The associated development with Phase I includes commercial space and 252 units of market rate apartments.

  • West Side Flats III, Saint Paul - $800,000 for stormwater improvements, sidewalk and trail connections, and a riverfront plaza. The project consists of 264 units in two buildings with a mix of affordability and a restaurant. This project also employs a green building technique that reduces energy consumption.

Grants for Affordable Housing (Multifamily Rental Housing):

  • Indian Neighborhood Club Expansion, Minneapolis - $300,000 to expand affordable, sober-supportive housing for Native American men, as well as men from other racial backgrounds experiencing long-term homelessness.

  • Minnehaha Townhomes, Minneapolis - $400,000 to help acquire and redevelop a vacant site to build 16 new townhomes for families experiencing homelessness. The program helps to meet a critical need for supportive housing for families.

  • Ramsey Apartments, Ramsey - $100,000 to support construction of 54 units within the downtown area near the Northstar Ramsey Station. The project consists of a three-story building, including several units for people experiencing long-term homelessness.

  • Como By the Lake, Saint Paul - $400,000 to support the purchase and preservation of a 99-unit development serving seniors and people with disabilities.

  • Model Cities Supportive Housing, Saint Paul - $100,000 to assist the rehabilitation of apartment complexes near the Green Line, preserving existing supportive housing.

  • The Glen at Valley Creek, Woodbury - $400,000 to assist in the acquisition and new construction senior housing development. The project will provide 42 units. 

Grants for Affordable Housing (Single-Family Ownership Housing)

  • Tax Forfeit to Affordable Homeownership, Bloomington - $105,000 to help with the acquisition, rehabilitation, and resale of two tax-forfeited properties, one in Minneapolis and one in suburban Hennepin County. Workers in a job training program will rehabilitate the homes and the properties will be sold to land trusts.

  • Homes Within Reach, Hennepin County Suburbs - $335,000 to facilitate the acquisition, rehabilitation, and resale of nine single-family homes in western Hennepin County to increase the number of homes available through a land trust.

  • Inspiring Communities, Saint Paul - $160,000 to help the Inspiring Communities program make targeted investments in Saint Paul neighborhoods most impacted by vacancy and foreclosure. This project will help build 14 new homes in the Payne-Phalen area.

  • Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Washington County - $200,000 to contribute to a partnership between Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and several metro area cities to build 26 new single-family homes, nine of which would be in suburban communities.


Posted In: Communities, Housing, Planning, Transportation

Tags: grants, development, Livable Communities

Upcoming Events