Predevelopment grants lay the groundwork for urban developments

Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Five predevelopment grants totaling $477,500 got the go-ahead from the Metropolitan Council on June 23. Predevelopment grants are intended for planning, analysis, design, and engagement activities to support successful development projects.

Grant awards are from our Livable Communities Fund, which supports community investment in jobs, housing choices, development and redevelopment, and connections between where they live and the places they want to go.

“Council staff review these planned developments through a lens that focuses on aspects of the projects that promote equity, livability, prosperity, stewardship, and sustainability,” said Community Development Director Lisa Barajas. “They are projects than can serve as models for other communities in the region, including the development community, that are looking for ways to integrate these objectives into their own plans and projects.

“The grants are competitive, and we have to make some hard choices, but we’re really pleased with the contributions these funds have made to neighborhoods, communities, the region, and more importantly, the lives of the people who live here,” said Barajas.

Architectural rendering of the Rondo Land Bridge over Interstate 94 between Grotto Street and Chatsworth Street.

Grant awards

The Rondo Restorative Development Overlay District, Saint Paul: $150,000 for research into anti-displacement mechanisms as part of the land bridge over the freeway between Chatsworth and Grotto streets, which includes housing, jobs, retail, recreation, and community spaces. The development would help restore and develop an area and neighborhood destroyed during construction of I-94.

EDA Innovation Hub, Brooklyn Park: $50,000 toward creation of a mixed-use space with an aquaponics facility and small business incubator space as a gathering place for businesses and other functions. The project includes many environmental sustainability components and would create living-wage jobs.

Chicago-Lake Rebuild, Minneapolis: $75,000 toward a mixed-use development with affordable housing and commercial space with a small business incubator for restaurant, retail, and office space. The Neighborhood Development Center will offer programming for training, lending, and technical assistance to neighborhood entrepreneurs.

3030 Nicollet, Minneapolis: $150,000 toward a mixed-use development that will include a new LEED-certified Wells Fargo branch, about 100 units of affordable housing, and commercial space for community-based businesses and/or organizations. The project is community driven and includes equitable development strategies.

990 Payne, Saint Paul: $52,500 toward commercial redevelopment of a small food and retail business entrepreneurship center by the Latino Economic Development Center. The project is expected to create 40 new jobs by incubating new local BIPOC-owned businesses that employ unemployed and underemployed businesses.

Livable Communities Program

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

The Met Council makes funding awards throughout the year. The next series of grants in July will be directed at brownfield clean up and redevelopment projects.

Posted In: Communities