Grants help cities clean up polluted land for redevelopment

Date: Thursday, June 27, 2024
A mock up of a multi-use building.The Metropolitan Council has awarded four Livable Communities grants totaling nearly $1.5 million for assessing and cleaning up contaminated land for redevelopment. The four communities awarded grants in this round include Minneapolis, Saint Paul, St. Louis Park, and White Bear Lake.

“The proposed projects will help create more housing choice and affordable housing in the region, add living wage jobs, and improve connections between housing, jobs, and regional amenities,” said Lisa Barajas, director of the Met Council’s Community Development division. “These are all key goals of our Livable Communities program.”

This round of grants focuses on projects that support redevelopment on properties with environmental contamination. The projects include environmental assessment and environmental cleanup before construction occurs.

Contamination investigation grants

Loffler Crossing, St. Louis Park - $46,500 for an environmental assessment of a former fueling site and acetylene manufacturing operations. The site has potential to be redeveloped for 170 apartments and commercial space near a planned light rail station.

Contamination cleanup grants

Native American Community Clinic, 1213 Franklin Ave., Minneapolis - $352,800 to clean a two-acre commercial site that historically included dry cleaner and auto repair tenants. Cleanup will focus on asbestos in the building as well as contaminants in the soil and soil vapor. Expected benefits include a 39,000-foot health clinic, 83 affordable apartments, and 131 FTE jobs.
A mock up of townhomes.
Gloryville, 1570 White Bear Avenue, Saint Paul - $1 million to clean a vacant 2.2-acre site that before its more recent commercial uses included a gas station. Contamination is in the soil and soil vapor. Expected benefits include 87 affordable apartments, 25,100 square feet of commercial space, and 16 FTE jobs.

Wildwood Rowhomes, 2502 County Road E East, White Bear Lake - $69,900 to clean up a .7-acre site that was last used as a gas station with a car wash and convenience stores. Contaminants of concern are in the soil, groundwater, and soil vapor. Expected benefits include construction of nine market-rate townhomes and renovation of a building to be used for amenity space.

The Met Council offers polluted-site investigation, cleanup, and Seeding Equitable Environmental Development grants through the Livable Communities Tax Base Revitalization Account in two funding rounds each year. The next round application deadline is November 1, 2024.

Livable Communities program promotes prosperity and economic development

The Met Council has been making Livable Communities grants to local jurisdictions in the seven-county metro area since 1995. To be eligible and compete for Livable Communities funding, metro area cities must participate in the Livable Communities program, which provides grants 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
77 cities are participating in the Livable Communities program in 2024.

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