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MN awards $3.57M for cleanup of redevelopment sites

Karlee Weinmann//July 10, 2015

MN awards $3.57M for cleanup of redevelopment sites

Karlee Weinmann//July 10, 2015

The state doled out $3.57 million in contamination cleanup grants to redevelopment projects that will create or retain 464 jobs across the state.

In all, 13 projects will receive funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to clean up or investigate pollution on redevelopment sites. Recipients include efforts focused on housing, commercial space, hotels and schools.

The state dips into its Contamination Cleanup and Investigation Grant program funds twice a year. The program is one of the most successful redevelopment initiatives in Minnesota, DEED Commissioner Katie Clark Sieben said.

“Since the inception of this program in 1995, more than 45,000 jobs have been created or retained and thousands of acres of land reclaimed for redevelopment projects,” she said in a statement.

Over the past two decades, the program has distributed $151 million to nearly 450 projects. That translates to 3,261 acres of reclaimed property, 21,145 new jobs and 24,305 retained jobs, according to DEED figures.

In addition, the grants have driven $4.8 billion in private investments plus $96 million in new tax revenue, the agency said.

The DEED grants account for about 75 percent of the funding that funnels into reclaiming polluted and brownfield sites statewide, according to the agency. The Metropolitan Council, cities and counties pick up the rest of the tab, along with private landowners and developers.

This round’s grant recipients include:

  • The former Superior Plating site, at 315 First Ave. NE in Minneapolis, won the biggest award this time around — $714,273 to clean up pollution from metals and other contaminants. On the 2.85-acre property, Lennar Multifamily Communities is planning a 20-story residential tower with 22,000 square feet of commercial space. The effort is expected to create 75 jobs.
  • restoration project at 700 Central Ave. NE in Minneapolis that would transform two existing buildings into 60 residential units and 10,000 square feet of commercial space received $644,411. The 0.96-acre site is polluted with petroleum, metals and other contaminants. The initiative is slated to create 20 jobs.
  • Bader Development’s plans to build 150 market-rate and affordable apartments at the southwest quadrant of France Avenue and Highway 7 in St. Louis Park got a $625,075 boost. The 2.23-acre site, previously a mix of commercial and residential space, is contaminated with petroleum and other substances. The effort will open up 54 jobs.
  • A civic center expansion project in downtown Mankato received $289,492 to clear out petroleum, metals and other contamination near 202 S. Second St., where the city demolished a former U.S. Bank Building to make room for the facility. The project will open 10 new jobs.
  • Mortenson’s planned 245-room AC Hotel project got $252,939 to clean up a 0.53-acre site at 401 Hennepin Ave. S. contaminated with metals and other toxic substances. The Minneapolis site was home to the 10-story Andrews Hotel and several other uses. The effort is expected to create 61 jobs.
  • The Encore, a forthcoming 123-unit apartment building at 935 Second St. S. in Minneapolis, near the Guthrie Theater, received $225,000 to ease metal and other pollution. Plans include three levels of underground parking on the 0.72-acre site. Sherman Associates is the developer. The project will create two jobs.
  • CPM’s 168-room hotel project on a former chow mein noodle manufacturing site near the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus received $270,678 to reduce petroleum and metals pollution. The site, covering 2510 Essex St. SE and 501 Huron Blvd. SE, has also been home to manufacturing and railroad operations. The effort will create 40 jobs.
  • A 3.12-acre site at 620 Olson Memorial Highway in Minneapolis nailed down $130,977 to lessen pollution from petroleum and other contaminants. An existing 68,000-square-foot building will be transformed into a charter school plus office and retail space in a project that’s expected to create 70 jobs.
  • A $110,478 grant will remediate petroleum and other pollution on the former Schmidt Keg House site at 882 W. Seventh St. in St. Paul, where developer Craig Cohen plans to open a restaurant and farmers market. Formerly, the property housed ethanol manufacturing, a gas station, a lumber yard and brewing operations. The project will open 35 jobs.
  • Efforts to transform a 189,000-square-foot building at the former Gross Given Manufacturing site received $72,735. The 5.04-acre property, at 75 W. Plato Blvd. in St. Paul, is polluted with petroleum, metals and other contaminants. A lumberyard, dry cleaner and lead pipe manufacturer previously occupied the site. The project will create 10 jobs.
  • Plans to reshape a cement and concrete manufacturer into a 60,000-square-foot charter school in St. Paul received $199,000 to mitigate contamination by petroleum and other metals on the 9.24-acre site. The project will open up five jobs and retain 51 jobs.
  • A redevelopment that would convert a site that formerly housed a gas station into two commercial buildings in Silver Bay received $20,440 in investigation funding. The project, on a 0.38-acre property, will create eight jobs.
  • DEED awarded an $11,250 investigation funding package for a 124-unit senior housing complex set to go up on the former Garceau Hardware site, at 3429 Centerville Road in Vadnais Heights. The 3.25-acre property was also used as a gas station, grocery and restaurant. The project will create 23 jobs.

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