Grants lead to jobs, housing, and economic development

Date: Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Awards go to projects in Burnsville, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Saint Paul, Roseville, and South St. Paul

The Metropolitan Council has awarded $2.8 million in polluted-site cleanup grants that promote redevelopment and economic opportunity in the region. Redevelopment will create jobs and invite investment in market-rate and affordable housing, as well as industrial and commercial space at vacant and idled properties.

Architect rendering of a redevelopment with residential and commercial spaces.The grants are part of our Livable Communities program, a voluntary, incentive-based approach to helping communities invest in economic development and housing choices, and integrate transportation choices into land use decisions.

“Contaminated sites, or brownfields, are a threat to the environment, public health, and the economy,” said Chair Charlie Zelle. “The Livable Communities program is one of the tools we have to help clean up these idled sites and put them back into productive use.”

Grants are competitive and project applications are reviewed using this criteria:

  • Increase to the tax base
  • Jobs/affordable housing
  • Compact, connected development
  • Environment and livability
  • Project process
  • Project capacity

The grant awards will encourage other public and private investment, help clean up 54 acres, and produce and preserve more than 800 affordable homes.

We received 18 applications for cleanup and investigation funds in this grant round, totaling $4.9 million in funding requests.

Grants fall into three categories including contamination cleanup and site investigation. A third category, Seeding Equitable Environmental Development (SEED), is investment that encourages development within and near areas of concentrated poverty that have potential for job or housing creation.

Grants awarded


Contamination cleanup


Capstone 35, Burnsville: $421,600 toward cleanup at a 16.6-acre site that has been used as an unpermitted industrial waste dump. Redevelopment includes 232,000 square feet of industrial space for multiple tenants in two new buildings.

2301 California Street, Minneapolis: $193,500 toward cleanup at a vacant 2.6-acre site that previously housed a grain elevator. Redevelopment plans call for 135 affordable apartments, 25 market-rate apartments, and 23,000 square feet of commercial or industrial production space.

Agra, Minneapolis: $378,000 toward cleanup at a 1-acre site that includes a vacant restaurant. Site plans include 172 affordable apartments with a hydroponic greenhouse.

2025 West River Road, Minneapolis: $384,100 toward cleanup on 2.4 acres with a vacant restaurant. The site was historically used as a rail storage yard. Redevelopment will include 130 affordable apartments, 33 market-rate apartments, and nearly 1,700 square feet of commercial space.

Walker Methodist Raines, Minneapolis: $373,800 toward asbestos abatement at a former nursing facility. The existing building will be renovated into 89 affordable apartments for seniors.

Northeast Business Center, Minneapolis: $74,700 toward cleanup at a 7.9-acre site that is currently vacant and had been used by a linseed oil processing facility. Redevelopment plans include 131,000 square feet of single- or multi-tenant industrial space.

Harbor at Twin Lakes Senior Housing, Roseville: $213,700 toward cleanup at a 5.2-acre site that is vacant and used previously for truck maintenance. Redevelopment plans call for 277 affordable apartments for seniors.

Dundee Nursery Redevelopment, Plymouth: $456,300 toward cleanup at a 15.5-acre site that housed a nursery and landscaping business. Redevelopment calls for 210 market-rate apartments and a 70,000-square-foot medical office.

1222 University, Saint Paul: $174,600 toward cleanup at a vacant 1-acre site that was used for storage and various business. Plans call for redevelopment of an existing building into 33 affordable apartments and 30-market rate apartments.



374 Selby Ave. YWCA Expansion, Saint Paul: $38,400 toward an environmental investigation of potential contaminants at a 1.8-acre site that was used for recreation and office space, and previously used for auto repair, dry cleaning, and other services. Development at the site is expected to include a new recreation facility for fitness, community programming, office space, and 60 affordable housing units.

Hardman Triangle, South St. Paul: $41,300 toward an environmental investigation at a 15.9-acre site that was used for slaughter, meat rendering, and various industrial purposes. Possible development, in phases, includes a mix of 750 apartment and ownership units, and retail and restaurant space.



1490 7th Street East, Saint Paul: $37,400 toward an environmental site assessment workplan and hazardous materials survey on a 13.9-acre site that was initially a gravel pit and later used as a disposal site.

694 Minnehaha Avenue, Saint Paul: $20,800 toward a site assessment and hazardous materials survey within a 7-acre site with contaminants that may include petroleum and solvents.

Livable Communities program promotes prosperity, economic development

Since the Livable Communities program became law in 1995, the Met Council has made 578 brownfield investigation and cleanup grant awards totaling $155 million. The awards are helping to leverage billions of dollars in investment, create and maintain nearly 48,000 jobs, and clean up more than 2,100 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

59 metro area communities participate in the program.

Posted In: Communities