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Hennepin County awards $3.49 million to seven transit-oriented developments

Hennepin County announces seven awards for Transit Oriented Communities funding.

The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners has awarded $3.49 million in funding for Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) projects.

Seven projects were awarded funding under the program. These include significant projects, such as public infrastructure in an 80-acre redevelopment in Brooklyn Center, a community resilience hub along Lake Street in Minneapolis, and space for 20 entrepreneurs in North Minneapolis. In all, the awards will bring housing, jobs, affordable commercial space for entrepreneurs, and seed broader investment in Hennepin County.

“Cumulatively, these projects are expected to generate over 800 new housing units, 65 spaces for local businesses, more than 500 new or retained jobs or job training opportunities accessible by transit, and over $98 million of total investment in communities that have historically experienced disinvestment,” said Community and Economic Development Director Patrica Fitzgerald during a recent Hennepin County Board meeting.

A core function of the TOC program is to promote activity along transit lines, and each of these seven projects empower the development of community hubs along current and planned transit corridors. Commissioner Irene Fernando noted that the awards show how the county invests in its infrastructure.

“If you look at these partners, the locations, the transit lines that are accompanying, it really is a demonstration of Hennepin County's role in the built infrastructure and the services and infrastructure that our region offers to residents and to visitors,” said Fernando. “I'm very, very excited.”

Two of the developments that received awards are along Lake Street, a corridor where the county continues to target investments as the area rebounds. These projects build on the momentum of a previous TOC award to the Coliseum, which just celebrated its grand opening.

“Two of these projects have been vacant lots since the civil unrest of 2020,” said Commissioner Angela Conley. “So, it's really touching to me to see what's there and what is yet to be. These awards, aptly named Transit Oriented Communities, are really putting back in into a community that has been devastated and has been waiting to see development for the last four years now.”

See all the awardees below:

Opportunity Site Phase 1

Organization: City of Brooklyn Center

Total award: $500,000

The full 80-acre Opportunity Site redevelopment area is the most significant and publicly prominent development opportunity within the City of Brooklyn Center. Following three years of engagement, visioning, and design, new comprehensive public infrastructure is needed to realize the community’s vision of a new downtown that benefits current and future residents and businesses. Phase 1 of the Opportunity Site’s public infrastructure will include a new multimodal roadway and a semi-regional stormwater ponding system, both of which are critical to anchor and support both near-term and future development. When fully realized the Opportunity Site redevelopment is anticipated to include 770 housing units, including 370 affordable units, 19,100 square feet of commercial space, 27 affordable commercial spaces, and new comprehensive public and private infrastructure. The project is expected to create 114 jobs. Total project costs for phase 1 are $6.9 million.


Latino Center for Community Engagement

Organization: Communities Organizing Latine Power and Action (COPAL)

Total award: $500,000

The Latino Center for Community Engagement (LCCE) project will redevelop the vacant and condemned O’Reilly Auto Parts building at Lake Street and 29th Avenue in South Minneapolis into a new three-story community center for Latine immigrants and the broader Lake Street community. The project will consist of 25,500 square feet of commercial and community space for COPAL’s programs and administration, partner organizations, and local small businesses, including 10 affordable commercial spaces. LCCE is designed as a community resilience hub and will include an outdoor gathering space with a mini-game field and area for farmers and craft markets and other community events. The project is expected to create or retain 68 jobs. Total project costs are $12 million.


The Plymouth Project

Organization: Northgate Development, LLC

Total award: $450,000

The Plymouth Project will redevelop a vacant site in North Minneapolis into a sustainable mixed-use development that incorporates Passive House Institute building standards. The project will consist of 68 affordable housing units targeted to families making 30% to50% of the area median income, including 5% of units designated for high-priority households and 10% designated for persons with disabilities. The project will also include 13,000 square feet of commercial space, including six affordable commercial spaces dedicated to a daycare center, entrepreneur incubator and production space, and retail or office space. The project is expected to create or retain 31 jobs. Total project costs are $34.5 million.


Pillsbury Creative Commons

Organization: Pillsbury United Communities

Total award: $395,000

Pillsbury Creative Commons (PCC) is the new name for Pillsbury House + Theatre. Located just north of George Floyd Square in South Minneapolis, the project will create an expanded arts and economic development hub that will provide first of its kind theatre and media arts job skills and entrepreneurship training, paid internships, and job placement for Black and Brown artists. The project will consist of 6,800 square feet of studio and training space. The project is expected to create or retain six jobs and prepare 150 individuals for full-time employment in high wage jobs over the next three years. Total project costs are $5.5 million.


The Resolute

Organization: Riverfront Development Partners

Total award: $400,000

Located at 1300 West Broadway Avenue in North Minneapolis, The Resolute is a two-phase mixed-use project that includes a phase 1 commercial development and a phase 2 affordable housing development. Phase 1 consists of a two-story, 10,000 square foot commercial development that will offer ownership opportunities for up to 4 local businesses, including a daycare and beauty salon. Total project costs for Phase I are $4.4 million.



Organization: 2709 East Lake LLC

Total award: $450,000

The Viva project will redevelop a vacant site that formerly housed the International Order of Odd Fellows building at the corner of 27th & Lake in Minneapolis into a mixed-use redevelopment. Prior to the 2020 civil unrest, the building was home to La Raza Radio and El Nuevo Rodeo, an iconic event center, night club, and gathering place for Latine communities. The project will consist of 46 affordable housing units targeted to families making 30% to 50% of the area median income, including 10 units of permanent supportive housing and 5 units designated for persons with disabilities. The project will also include 6,300 square feet of commercial space across four spaces, including two affordable spaces. The project is expected to create 80 jobs. Total project costs are $29.7 million.



Organization: 1200 KMA Development LLC

Total award: $800,000

Formerly known as the 1200 West Broadway building, ZaRah is being redesigned as an all-inclusive and affordable wellness and retail hub providing a wide range of cultural and wellness services including massage, acupuncture, cupping, nutritional education, yoga, sauna, and more as part of an effort to centralize healing and wellness in the heart of North Minneapolis. The project will renovate and redesign the existing building into 18,000 square feet of business incubator space that will support 20 entrepreneurs in the health and wellness industries. Total project costs are $5.6 million.

About Transit Oriented Communities

Transit Oriented Communities program invests in walkable, mixed-use, human-centered neighborhoods around high-quality transit service. These projects promote economic activity along transportation infrastructure to provide a mix of places to live, work, and play along transit.

Since 2003, Hennepin County has awarded approximately $44.5 million to over 160 projects along key Hennepin County light rail transit corridors and other high frequency and express bus routes. These investments have created or retained more than 13,000 housing units, 3,300 jobs, and more than 2.5 million square feet of commercial space across the county.

Read more about the program here.