Project receives funding
The Metropolitan Council has awarded $2.8 million in polluted-site cleanup grants that promote redevelopment and economic opportunity in the region, including funding for a unique Midway building. Redevelopment through the Livable communities program will create jobs and invite investment in market-rate and affordable housing, as well as industrial and commercial space at vacant and idled properties, the council stated in a news release.
The current round of grants awarded is expected to encourage other public and private investment, help clean up 54 acres, and produce and preserve more than 800 affordable housing units.
“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 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.
Almost 60 Twin Cities regional communities participate in the program.
One of the contamination cleanup projects funded is 1222 University Ave. The former St. Paul Casket Company Building recently earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Developers received $174,600 toward cleanup at the vacant one-acre site that was used for storage and various businesses in recent years. Plans call for redevelopment of the existing building into 33 affordable apartments and 30-market rate apartments.
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