Council awards $3.3 million to local projects promoting jobs, economic development

Posted In: Communities, Planning
Date: 6/27/2018

The Metropolitan Council, on June 27, awarded nearly $3.3 million in brownfield investigation and cleanup grants that promote redevelopment and economic opportunity. The grants are part of the Council’s Livable Communities program, which is a voluntary, incentive-based approach to helping communities achieve their regional and local goals.

In this round, the Council awarded three different types of grants, related to investigating and cleaning up contaminated sites, and improving redevelopment opportunities in an existing or former area of concentrated poverty.

Burnsville, Hastings, Hopkins, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul get awards

Funds were awarded to 6 cities for 16 projects including:

  • Clean up on a large site that housed a vacant cold storage facility in Hopkins that shows opportunity for redevelopment

  • Remediation at the former commercial site of a drycleaner in Maple Grove for retail space

  • Remediation at the former site of Superior Plating in Minneapolis for housing and retail space

  • Remediation and abatement on a mostly vacant site near Victoria Station on the Green Line for supportive housing for homeless Native American youth

The grant awards this funding round will help clean up 12 acres, increase the net tax base by $3 million, and encourage millions more in private investment.
“For more than two decades, the Livable Communities Grant Program has turned polluted land across the Twin Cities into fertile ground for economic growth and opportunity," said Governor Mark Dayton. "These grants will help create 200 jobs and support the development of more than 1,200 new homes, including affordable housing for 96 Minnesota families."

Partnerships essential in economic development

The former Sons of Norway property in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis is being redeveloped into 317 market-rate apartments, and office and retail space“The Council works with a number of partners, including state and local government, as well as private and nonprofit developers, to make a significant contribution to development and redevelopment that enhances our communities and economy,” said Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff.
“More than 20 years since it was first created by the State Legislature, the Livable Communities Program continues an impressive track record of success,” she said. “These grants revitalize local economies, create affordable housing and jobs, and increase the livability of our region, which all contributes to its prosperity.”
The Council received 28 applications this funding round totaling $7.9 million in requests.

Contamination Investigation Grants

  • Checkerboard, Minneapolis - $50,000 to help assess hazardous materials and develop abatement and cleanup plans at the 2.1-acre site now home to a closed, vacant grain production facility. Initial plans call for 100 market-rate and 100 affordable apartments and commercial space.

  • 7th and Bush, Saint Paul - $30,700 toward environmental assessment and cleanup planning at a 1.3-acre site at a vacant lot that was formerly part of a gravel excavation area and disposal area for demolition debris. The site is planned for up to 60 affordable apartments.

  • Valley Ridge, Burnsville - $29,800 toward additional soil and groundwater sampling at a 6.7-acre vacant lot that formerly included a shopping center with a dry cleaner and gas station. Redevelopment plans include 27 townhomes for ownership and commercial space. 

  • Riverfront Addition, Hastings - $23,700 toward an environmental site assessment and cleanup plan at a 1.5-acre site that is mostly vacant. Redevelopment is expected to include commercial space and several market-rate apartments.

Seeding Equitable Environmental Development Grants:

(Improving redevelopment opportunities in an existing or former area of concentrated poverty)
  • Cold Storage, Hopkins—$805,700 toward asbestos abatement and limited demolition at a 16.8-acre site that housed a vacant cold storage facility.

  • 2nd and Van White, Minneapolis - $49,300 toward a feasibility assessment to determine future remediation methods at a vacant 4.6-acre site. Portions of the site were used by a scrap metal processor and for bulk petroleum storage and engine repair. 

  • Impound West, Minneapolis - $44,700 toward an environmental site assessment at a 20-acre site that is used for long-term vehicle storage. 

  • 617 Stryker, Saint Paul - $22,400 toward environmental site investigation on a one-acre site that is currently used as a community garden. 

Contamination Cleanup GrantsArchitect’s rendering shows Ain Dah Yung, a redevelopment of cleaned up property in Saint Paul, that will include 42 affordable, supportive apartments for homeless youth with community and amenity space.

  • Ain Dah Yung Supportive Housing, Saint Paul - $47,200 toward a hazardous materials assessment, asbestos abatement and soil remediation at a half-acre site that was used for residential purposes, as well as by a variety of appliance, vehicle and equipment sales and service companies. Redevelopment includes 42 affordable, supportive apartments for homeless youth with community and amenity space.

  • West Broadway Curve 2, Minneapolis - $206,300 toward environmental investigation, remediation and soil vapor mitigation at a vacant 2.4-acre site made up of 20 vacant residential parcels. Redevelopment will include 69 mixed-income apartments and 20 market-rate townhomes. 

  • Superior Plating (former), Minneapolis - $880,000 toward soil and soil vapor mitigation at a vacant 2.3-acre commercial site that was historically used for a variety of industrial uses. Redevelopment includes 333 market-rate apartments and retail space.

  • Sons of Norway, Minneapolis - $410,000 toward additional asbestos abatement at and disposal of contaminated soil from a 2.9-acre site that includes a vacant office building, surface parking and a storage building. Redevelopment includes 317 market-rate apartments, and office and retail space.

  • 12th Street Tower, Minneapolis - $150,800 toward a hazardous materials assessment, development of a response plan, asbestos abatement and soil remediation at a 1.2-acre site that is currently vacant, but contaminated. Redevelopment includes 357 market-rate apartments, and office and retail space.

  • 13250 Grove Drive, Maple Grove - $36,400 toward soil remediation and a soil vapor system at a vacant one-acre commercial site that historically housed a drycleaner. Redevelopment includes 4,700 square feet of retail space.

  • Snelling and St. Clair, Saint Paul - $150,000 toward environmental investigation, asbestos abatement and soil remediation at a nearly 3/4-acre site that includes a vacant drycleaner and former commercial bakery. Redevelopment includes 118 market-rate apartments and retail space.

  • Minnesota Chemical, Saint Paul Port Authority - $328,200 toward asbestos abatement, soil remediation and soil vapor mitigation at a 1.5-acre site that has been used for a variety of manufacturing purposes. Redevelopment includes renovation of an existing building into office space and adding on-site stormwater management. 


Over time, grants have helped create and retain 43,000 jobs

Since the Livable Communities program became law in 1995, the Council has made 489 brownfield investigation and cleanup grant awards totaling $133 million. The awards are helping to leverage billions of dollars in private investment, create and maintain 43,000 jobs and clean up more than 2,000 acres of contaminated properties.
To be eligible and compete for Livable Communities funding, metro-area cities must participate in the Livable Communities program. More than 90 metro-area communities participate in the program, which provides funding 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.

Posted In: Communities, Planning


Upcoming Events
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    This webinar discusses the advantages, disadvantages, and considerations associated with solar photovoltaic developments, as well as showcasing projects and initiatives focused on deploying solar on formerly contaminated lands.

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