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$3.3M In Grants Will Clean Up 10 Properties

$3.3M In Grants Will Clean Up 10 Properties

The money will be allocated across 10 different redevelopment projects, more than half of which are in Minneapolis.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Thursday that it is doling out $3.3 million in an effort to clean up polluted sites in cities like Duluth, Mankato, and Minneapolis.
 
DEED estimates that the 10 cleanup and redevelopment projects will create 520 jobs and retain another 6,150.
 
One of the largest grants will benefit Minneapolis’ Downtown East neighborhood, which received $787,107 to clean up a 3.3-acre site contaminated with petroleum and other pollutants. The site was formally home to a gas station, printing company, and other businesses. After the cleanup, construction is planned for two 20-story office buildings, 76 housing units, and 40,000 square feet of retail space.
 
The City of Minneapolis is also receiving $520,320 to clean up the 1.21-acre former Shapco Printing site, which is contaminated with solvents, metals, and other pollutants. The site will be redeveloped for 250,000 square feet of office space that will house an eight-story, single-tenant office building with underground parking space. A new headquarters for bone-marrow registry organization Be The Match will occupy the space. The Met Council also contributed $487,400 to help with the cleanup and redevelopment.
 
The 1.13-acre site of a former gas station on 301 Washington Avenue in Minneapolis will be cleaned up for $472,845 and redeveloped into a 319-unit, 14-story apartment building—with 9,912 square feet of commercial and retail space.
 
Minneapolis was also granted $388,400 for a site formally occupied by a metal machining company in the Seward neighborhood where apartments will be developed; $222,280 to clean up the WaHu student housing site, which once housed a restaurant and plasma center; and $19,237 to clean up an old factory lumber site to make room for a new lab/office space.
 
The largest grant overall was awarded to the city of Fridley to clean up a 30-acre portion of the former Naval Industrial Reserve Ordinance Plant, which is contaminated with petroleum and other pollutants. Two warehouse and office buildings totaling 345,000 square feet are planned for the site.
 
The cleanup grants, which are awarded twice a year, come out of DEED’s contamination cleanup grant program. According to the organization, its grants account for about 75 percent of the funding that’s used for reclaiming polluted sites and brownfields throughout Minnesota. The rest comes from the Met Council, cities, counties, or private landowners and developers.
 
The following cleanup grants were also awarded by DEED this week:
 
  • $31,436 to clean up the former site of Jay Street Gas Holder in Duluth. Twelve new homes are planned for the space.
  • $30,583 to clean up the former site of Brad’s Auto Salvage yard in Blue Earth County. An 11,000-square-foot office and local contractor shop is planned for the site.
  • $30,000 to clean up the former site of an auto repair garage, beverage distribution company, and a city bus-washing facility in Mankato. A 5,400-square-foot restaurant is planned for the property.
 
According to DEED, the local property tax revenue for the 49 total acres of formerly polluted land involved in this set of grants will increase by about $9.5 million.
 
Since the contamination cleanup grant program was conceived in 1995, it has allocated more than $139 million statewide.
 
In other real estate news, the St. Paul Port Authority reportedly plans to buy and redevelop the Twin Cities Army Ammunitions Plant in Arden Hills.