News release: $2.3 million county investment supports transit-oriented development

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Elise Durban, Community and Economic Development, 612-348-4191
Julie Caniglia, Communications, 612-348-6883

$2.3 million county investment supports transit-oriented development

On May 3, the board for Hennepin County’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority approved $2,325,000 in funding for six transit-oriented development (TOD) projects. These projects include a mix of infrastructure, housing, retail, services, workplaces and public plazas, all located within walking distance of transit. 

Once the six projects are completed, the county projects that its $2.325 million investment will have leveraged more than $105 million in total private and public investment. It will also have played a role in developing 452 units of housing and creating or retaining 153 jobs. 

Three of the funded projects include infrastructure to improve bike and pedestrian connections along transit corridors and stimulate economic development; the other three support real estate development adjacent to existing or planned light rail transit (LRT) stations or high-frequency bus service. 

The Artery, Hopkins
The Artery, a two-block street redevelopment in Hopkins

“These investments make our communities stronger by making our transit system stronger,” said Commissioner Peter McLaughlin. “As our first-ring suburbs redefine themselves for the 21st century, Hennepin County is helping build connections and infrastructure oriented toward light rail transit — essentially, helping weave new community fabric so that once people arrive on a LRT train, they can get where they need to go.”

Added Commissioner Linda Higgins, who chairs the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, “The county’s funding for TOD is relatively modest compared with the investment that goes into building a light rail transit line. But it has a huge impact in the amount of private-sector investment that it leverages.”

Meg Beekman, Community Development Coordinator for the City of Hopkins, noted the excitement and honor for her city in receiving a TOD award for its project called The Artery. “These funds will be put to a great use in delivering a one-of-a-kind, last-mile connection between historic downtown Hopkins and its future light rail transit station,” she said. “This important project will connect transit riders to our businesses and Hopkins residents to transit.”

First approved by the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HCHRA) Board in 2003, the county’s TOD program is in its 14th year of reviewing and funding proposals. The board has approved approximately $29 million for more than 100 TOD projects.

Projects approved for 2016 TOD program funding 

700 Central, Central Avenue NE and 7th Street, Minneapolis, $190,000
Phase I of this redevelopment includes 80 units of market-rate housing and 6,000 square feet of commercial space. Program funds will be used for pedestrian scaled lighting, enhanced landscaping, site work, sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, site furnishing, streetscaping, and improvements at existing bus stop. Total project cost: $30.5 million. Agreement with Nolan Properties Group.

Brooklyn Boulevard Trail, Brooklyn Park, $225,000
This multiuse trail runs along a busy commercial corridor from the Zane Avenue/Village Creek redevelopment to the Starlite Transit Center/planned Brooklyn Boulevard LRT station on the METRO Blue Line extension at West Broadway Avenue. Program funds will support trail design, development, and construction, including pedestrian and bicycle connections and links with existing connections, such as the Shingle Creek regional trail. Total project cost: $1.05 million. Agreement with the City of Brooklyn Park.

Great River Landing, 5th St. near Target Field Station, downtown Minneapolis  - $375,000
This development features approximately 72 units of affordable housing targeting individuals who are chronically unemployed, homeless, or recently incarcerated. Program funds will reduce the project gap by funding acquisition, utilities, lighting, bicycle infrastructure, site work, landscaping, sidewalks/trail, and site furnishings. Total project cost: $17.1 million. Agreement with Beacon Interfaith.

Green Fourth, 4th Street between Malcolm and 25th avenues, Minneapolis - $485,000
This street near the Prospect Park and Stadium Village stations on the METRO Green Line will be rebuilt with enhanced bikeway and pedestrian connections, stormwater treatment, landscaping, and social spaces. Program funds will be used for utilities, structural/planning soils, and site preparation. Total project cost: $5.5 million. Agreement with University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors.

PLACE, Wooddale Avenue and Highway 7, St. Louis Park – $750,000
Located next to the future Wooddale Station on the METRO Green Line extension, PLACE includes approximately 300 housing units, 200 (66%) of which are affordable; 100 hotel rooms; 27,000 square feet of commercial space; and adjacent roadway improvements. Program funds will be used for acquisition, demolition, and infrastructure and other site improvements to support construction. Total project cost: over $100 million. Agreement with the City of St. Louis Park.

The Artery, 8th Avenue and Excelsior Boulevard, Hopkins - $300,000
This two-block redevelopment of 8th Avenue connects the future Downtown Hopkins LRT station on the METRO Green Line extension to the city’s Mainstreet. Program funds will be used for improvements related to utilities, lighting, bicycle infrastructure, stormwater management, and streetscaping at the Excelsior Blvd. (County Road 3) intersection. Total project cost: $5.3 million. Agreement with the City of Hopkins.

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