Transit oriented development

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners established the transit oriented development (TOD) program in 2003 to support both redevelopment and new construction that enhances transit usage. Since the program began, Hennepin County has awarded more than $23 million, to-date, in general obligation bonding and levy funding to both urban and suburban projects. Funds have assisted projects along key Hennepin County transit corridors such as Hiawatha, Central Corridor, Southwest, Bottineau, and other high frequency and express bus routes.

The County Board has authorized approximately $2 million per year in the capital budget through 2014 for TOD projects.

The TOD program criteria support projects and developments that:

  • Enhance transit usage
  • Increase density along transit corridors
  • Reinforce both the community and the transit system
  • Exhibit a compact and efficient use of available space, rather than auto-oriented sprawl
  • Contain a diversity and mix of uses with daily conveniences and transit at the center
  • Support pedestrian-friendly physical design that encourages walking, bicycling and access for people with physical disabilities
  • Are a maximum comfortable walking distance to transit (roughly one-fourth mile for existing bus transit stops or one-half mile for rail based)

Information for the fall 2014 Request for Proposals (RFP) is now available:

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Eligible areas and uses

Funding is available only to projects located

  • Within a local redevelopment area or housing district
  • Within or directly adjacent to Hennepin County Transit Corridors
  • Where new or enhanced transit services supporting county strategies are taking place

Eligible uses of funds include

  • Installation of public infrastructure improvements, including facilities, lighting, and safety enhancements that improve pedestrian, bicyclist, and transit rider access, safety and ease of use
  • Site clearance and installation of streets, utilities, and site improvements for uses in accordance with the redevelopment project
  • Acquisition of real property for the purpose of removing, preventing or reducing blight, blighting factors or the causes of blight (evidence of site control is required)
  • Other purposes as authorized by Minnesota Statutes, Section 469.002 -- the Minnesota redevelopment statute

Examples of past projects

Projects are competitively evaluated for increased transit ridership, pedestrian-friendly design that encourages active living, economic development impact, job creation and retention, and the ability to leverage other public and private resources.

Examples of projects that received past awards include:

  • $405,000 was granted to the city of Bloomington to upgrade a sanitary sewer to support a major expansion to an existing manufacturer that will retain and create jobs. Grant funding also provided for pedestrian enhancements to improve the connection between area businesses and the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit station.
  • $850,000 was loaned to an affiliate of the Cornerstone Group to acquire and renovate the former Lyndale Gardens Center building at 64th and Lyndale in Richfield.
  • $67,000 was granted to Seward Redesign for pedestrian and bike improvements to a segment of 24th Street connecting to the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit bike/pedestrian path in Minneapolis.

Who can apply for TOD funds?

  • Statutory or home-rule-charter cities or towns and development authorities (e.g., housing and redevelopment authority, economic development authority or port authority)
  • Private entities, including nonprofit and for-profit developers
  • Hennepin County and the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority
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