On July 24, the Council awarded $3 million in grants that promote redevelopment and economic opportunity to five cities. The grants are part of the Council’s Livable Communities program, a voluntary, incentive-based approach to helping communities achieve their regional and local goals.
The Council awarded three types of grants:
- To investigate contaminated sites
- To clean contaminated sites
- To improve redevelopment opportunities in an existing or former area of concentrated poverty
Funds were awarded to five cities for 14 projects this funding round. The grant awards will help clean 27 acres, increasing the net tax base by $1.9 million, and encourage millions more in private investment.
Grants will help create 160 affordable homes
"These grants will help create 1,000 jobs and support the development of more than 800 new homes, including 160 affordable homes, at a time when housing is so desperately needed in the region,” said Council Chair Nora Slawik.
“Housing is foundational to the success of families, children and neighborhoods,” said Slawik. “It’s also vital to the success of our economy. To grow and prosper as a region we need the infrastructure that supports growth, and that includes housing.
“I can’t say enough about the value that these grants bring to the region in support of redevelopment, housing that’s safe, stable and affordable, job opportunities and community vitality and livability.”
The Council received 19 applications this funding round totaling $7 million in requests.
Contamination Investigation grant
605-607 Stryker Avenue, Saint Paul: $24,100 for environmental and hazardous materials assessments and preparation of a Response Action Plan on a one-acre site for the development of 57 senior affordable apartments.
Contamination Cleanup grants
Leef South Lot, Minneapolis: $37,300 for soil remediation and related environmental oversight at a 1.2-acre site that is mostly vacant. Plans calls for development of a three-story, 94,800-square-foot office building.
Calhoun Towers Building C, Minneapolis: $272,400 for soil remediation and related environmental oversight at a 1.8-acre site that was part of a former unpermitted dump. Development plans call for 100 market-rate apartments and 25 affordable apartments.
907 Winter Street NE, Minneapolis: $122,400 for asbestos abatement, some demolition and soil remediation at a 0.5-acre site that was used by a metal finishing company. Development will include 16 market-rate apartments and four affordable apartments.
Checkerboard, Minneapolis: $600,000 for asbestos abatement and related environmental oversight at a two-acre site that was used for grain storage. The site will be redeveloped for 375 market-rate apartments, 125 affordable apartments and 19,000 square feet of commercial space.
Malcolm Yards Market, Minneapolis: $103,900 for asbestos abatement, soil remediation, and other cleanup measures. The 1.3-acre site has fire-damaged vacant buildings that were historically used for machining and storage. The site will be redeveloped into a 18,500-square-foot food hall.
3120 Excelsior, Minneapolis: $98,900 for environmental site assessment, limited demolition, and soil remediation at a 0.3-acre site that served as a dump. The existing building will be redeveloped into 3,200 square feet of retail space.
201-211 4th Street, Saint Paul: $175,000 for asbestos and lead-based-paint abatement and soil vapor sampling at the 0.2-acre site of a vacant three-story building that has had multiple uses. The building will be redeveloped into 23 market-rate apartments and 20,000 square feet of commercial and storage space.
441-453 Snelling Avenue, Saint Paul: $199,700 for environmental investigation, asbestos abatement, and soil remediation at a 0.6-acre site with three vacant buildings. The site will be redeveloped to include 134 market-rate apartments, three affordable apartments, and 7,000 square feet of retail space.
Arbor Lakes Corporate Center, Maple Grove: $143,500 for disposal of hazardous wastes and soil remediation at a 13-acre site that once was a sand and gravel mine; it became a dump and then a waste transfer site. The area will be redeveloped into a 204,000-square-foot multi-tenant office/warehouse building.
River Walk Village, Ramsey: $902,800 for environmental investigation, development of a Response Action Plan and soil remediation at a vacant 4.8-acre site. Plans call for development of 11 market-rate homes and three affordable homes.
Panache Cidery, Hastings: $270,000 for soil remediation and mitigation at a 1.5-acre site that is currently vacant. Redevelopment will include four market-rate apartments and a 2,000-square-foot cidery and cider bar.
Seeding Equitable Environmental Development (SEED) grants
These grants improve redevelopment opportunities in an existing or former area of concentrated poverty.
1433 University, Saint Paul: $19,300 for environmental assessment and related environmental oversight on a 0.4-acre site that’s being leased to nearby businesses for surface parking.
Powerhouse at Hamms (Phase 1), Saint Paul: $36,200 for environmental assessment and related environmental oversight on a 0.8-acre site that includes a long-vacant building previously used for central heating at nearby brewery buildings.
About the Livable Communities program
Since the Livable Communities program became law in 1995, the Council has made 520 brownfield investigation and cleanup grant awards totaling $141 million. The awards are helping to leverage billions of dollars in private investment, create and maintain 44,000 jobs, and clean up more than 2,000 acres of contaminated properties.
To be eligible and compete for Livable Communities funding, metro area municipalities must participate in the Livable Communities program. Ninety-five metro area cities and one township 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
- The Council is expected to award more than $21 million this year in Livable Communities funds to eligible applicants.