Council awards grants to create jobs, housing, and economic development

Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Rendering of a row of new buildings next to a light rail line.The Metropolitan Council awarded $3 million in polluted-site cleanup grants and $500,000 in additional grants that promote redevelopment and economic opportunity in the region.

The grants are part of the Met Council’s Livable Communities program, a voluntary, incentive-based approach to helping communities invest in economic development and housing choices, and promote connections between transportation options and land use.

Cleanup grants approved this funding round will support redevelopment of contaminated land and buildings. The Met Council awarded funds to 5 cities for 12 projects, including:

  • Market-rate and affordable housing in Minnetonka and Shakopee

  • Affordable supportive housing in Minneapolis

  • Renovation of commercial and industrial space in New Brighton

  • Affordable apartments in Saint Paul


Grants leverage other public and private investment

These grants will help clean up 33 acres, create or retain more than 600 full-time jobs, increase the net tax base by nearly $2.4 million, help to produce and preserve more than 1,200 homes, including 767 affordable homes, and encourage millions more in private investment.

The Met Council received 14 applications for cleanup funds in this grant round, totaling $3.4 million in funding requests.

“Now in its 25th year, the Livable Communities program has been critical in helping to lend public sector confidence in development projects and leverage other public and private investment,” said Council Chair Charlie Zelle. “By any measure, the program has been a success at facilitating and contributing to investment in economic opportunity.”

A gray building with an orange entrance.

Cleanup grants support development, affordable housing

Shady Oak Crossing, Minnetonka: $414,200 for environmental cleanup at a 2.1-acre site that’s home to a partially occupied retail and commercial building. The site will house 52 market-rate apartments, 23 affordable apartments, and underground parking.

Riverfront Bluff, Shakopee: $458,600 for abatement at a 1.9-acre site that includes a mix of vacant residential and commercial buildings. The site will house 170 market-rate apartments with 6,400 square feet of commercial space.

Microm (Former), New Brighton: $400,000 for cleanup at a 3.8-acre site with three vacant connected buildings. Renovation includes 62,800 square feet of commercial and industrial space for multiple tenants.

Olson Housing, Minneapolis: $610,700 for remediation at a 7.4-acre site that is currently a residential area, to include 92 affordable apartments with underground parking.

Elliott Twins Towers, Minneapolis: $21,100 for asbestos abatement during redevelopment of a 2.2-acre site that currently houses two 12-story apartment buildings. Plans call for renovation of 174 affordable dwellings, 10 new affordable units, and a new single-story addition with amenities and office space for social services.

Bimosedaa, Minneapolis: $275,000 for cleanup at a small site that includes a mostly vacant seven-story building, which will be renovated into 48 affordable supportive apartments.

Anishinabe III, Minneapolis: $41,600 to clean up a one-acre site, vacant for 45 years, for development of 40 affordable supportive apartments.

Malcolm Yards Housing, Minneapolis: $191,700 for cleanup at a 2.4-acre site with a vacant warehouse building and the foundations of a former lumber company. The site will house 143 market-rate apartments and 30,000 square feet of ground-level commercial space with underground parking. Affordable housing will be added in a later phase.

1505 Central, Minneapolis: $141,700 for remediation at a 3.5-acre site where existing buildings will be renovated into 98,250 square feet of commercial/industrial space for multiple tenants.

Snelling Yards, Minneapolis: $207,600 for cleanup at a 3.6-acre site that is currently used for storage. Plans include 100 affordable senior housing units.

United Village Midway Block B, Saint Paul: $125,000 for cleanup on a 2.4-acre site that is currently a surface parking lot. Plans call for 234 market-rate apartments and 15,500 square feet of commercial space over structured parking.

Fairview & University, Saint Paul: $111,800 for cleanup on a 3.2-acre site that currently houses four vacant buildings and surface parking. Development at the site will include 280 affordable apartments with 2,440 square feet of commercial space with underground and surface parking.

The housing proposed in these grant awards is expected to be available for occupancy in 2021 and 2022.

More about tax base revitalization grants

Predevelopment grants support exploration of opportunities

In addition to the cleanup grants, the Council also approved $300,000 in predevelopment grants that support mixed-use and efficient land-use objectives, including:

  • Brooklyn Park Business Incubator ($100,000)

  • Saint Paul YWCA ($100,000)

  • Penn Avenue Redevelopment in Richfield ($50,000)

  • 61st and Brooklyn Boulevard in Brooklyn Center ($50,000)

The Met Council also approved $200,000 in grants for predevelopment activities in areas near transit investments, including:

  • Towerside District Stormwater project in Minneapolis ($100,000)

  • Keystone Community Food Site in Saint Paul ($100,000)

Livable Communities program promotes prosperity, has long track record

Since the Livable Communities program became law in 1995, the Council has made 521 brownfield investigation and cleanup grant awards totaling nearly $139 million. The awards are helping to leverage billions of dollars in private investment, create and maintain over 44,500 jobs and clean up more than 2,400 acres of contaminated properties.

To be eligible and compete for Livable Communities funding, metro area cities must participate in the Livable Communities 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

More than 90 metro area communities participate in the program.

Posted In: Communities