News: Hennepin County allocates $1 million to four transit-oriented development projects

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Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969
Kyle Mianulli, Community Works, 612-596-9875

County board reinvests $1 million to support additional transit-oriented development projects

Four transit-oriented development (TOD) projects will split $1,050,000 in funding allocated through Hennepin County’s TOD Program. The projects include a mix of infrastructure, housing, retail, office space and commercial space, all located within walking distance of major transit routes.

This new investment will leverage more than $31 million in private and public funding. It will help create 113 new housing units; improve pedestrian and bicycle connections to major transit routes; build 26,000 square feet of commercial and office space; and create or retain nearly 50 jobs. Part of the money will be used to purchase property designated for future TOD uses.

“Investments like these help communities take full advantage of the opportunities created by a growing and successful regional transit network," said District 2 County Commissioner and Housing and Redevelopment Authority Chair Linda Higgins. “They set the stage for future private investment, and help position these areas for continued growth and vibrancy in the years ahead.”

The four projects fall along major existing or planned transit routes, including the busy transit intersection at Franklin and Lyndale avenues in Minneapolis, currently served by several high-frequency bus lines; the Metro Green Line; and Metro Blue Line Extension (planned for 2021).

“The northwest suburbs are full of opportunity for growth and development, thanks in no small part to the coming Blue Line LRT Extension,” said District 1 County Commissioner Mike Opat, whose district includes the Bass Lake Road Streetscape and Robbinsdale Station Area projects funded this round. “The grants show how cities can leverage major transit investments to not only produce transformative ideas, but actually to pursue their big development goals.”

First approved by the Housing and Redevelopment Authority in 2003, the county’s TOD program has invested around $27 million in more than 100 projects along the county’s transit corridors. These investments have helped create or retain more than 7,000 housing units and 2,500 jobs.

 “From transforming public spaces and connecting transit riders to local businesses, to creating exciting new places for people to live, work and play, these relatively modest investments can contribute to significant lasting improvements in our communities and across the county,” said District 4 Commissioner Peter McLaughlin.

The 2017 round of Hennepin County’s TOD program will open January 5, with $2.2 million in possible funding available. More information about the program and other development funding opportunities can be found at

Projects approved for TOD program funding

Bass Lake Road Streetscape, Crystal, $200,000

This project will reconstruct 1,400 linear feet of streetscape on the north side of Bass Lake Road from County Road 81 and the future Bass Lake Road Light Rail Transit (LRT) station on the Blue Line extension to West Broadway. It will also construct a new multi-use trail on the south side of the roadway. These improvements were identified during the recently completed station area planning process.

Total project costs: $450,000

Program applicant: City of Crystal Economic Development Authority

Program funds will be used for utilities, public infrastructure, lighting, bicycle infrastructure, landscaping, sidewalks/trails and streetscaping.

Harris Building Food Hall and Office, Minneapolis, $300,000

Located in the Prospect Park neighborhood near the Prospect Park station on the Green Line LRT, this project will renovate the existing Harris Machinery Warehouse building into a destination food hall and small office space. The project will also add greenspace and a trail connection. The development is projected to create 40 new jobs.

Total project costs: $6.375 million

Program applicant: Wall Development Company

Program funds will be used for utilities, site work, sidewalks/trails, stormwater and building stabilization to preserve the existing façade.

Robbinsdale Station Area, Robbinsdale, $400,000

This project is a strategic acquisition of property located adjacent to the future Robbinsdale LRT station along the Blue Line Extension. The property will be purchased and held by the city’s Economic Development Authority until it is needed for the construction of the planned park and ride and other TOD projects that will be incorporated into the site.

Total project costs: $400,000

Program applicant: Robbinsdale Economic Development Authority

Program funds will be used to purchase the property.

Theatre Garage Marquee Apartments, Minneapolis, $150,000

This project is a mixed-use development that will construct 113 multi-family rental units and 8,200 square feet of commercial space along several high frequency bus corridors. The project will redesign the curb along Lyndale Avenue to widen the sidewalk, which will create a better pedestrian environment, and shorten the travel distance across Lyndale Avenue.

Total project costs: $23.8 million

Program applicant: TGMA Developers LLC

Program funds will be used for site work, sidewalks and streetscaping.

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