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Transit Oriented Development

Creating walkable, mixed-use, human-centered communities

Transit oriented development (TOD) is the creation of walkable, mixed-use, human-centered communities established around high-quality transit service. TOD projects are compact and typically include reduced or shared parking, increased density, emphasis on the public realm through building orientation and site details, and enhanced pedestrian and bicycle amenities.

TOD’s more efficient use of land contributes to the preservation of open space, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and improved air quality. Transit oriented communities see improved health outcomes due to increased rates of walking, biking, rolling, and taking transit. Transit oriented development provides expanded housing options and improves connections between housing, jobs, retail, and services, which can lead to reduced housing and transportation costs, and increased economic opportunity.

In addition, Hennepin County anticipates offering predevelopment assistance as part of the 2022 TOD program. See more information below.

On this page:

2022 application and funding timeline

The application period closed on April 21. Awards anticipated in July. Projects must use funds within 30 months of award.

Approximately $2.2 million is available. The TOD request for proposals (RFP) was released independently of the coordinated affordable housing development request for proposals.

Who can apply

Developers, nonprofits engaged in development/redevelopment, government agencies and related development authorities.

Types of projects

  • Development/redevelopment, including substantial renovation and expansions
  • New or reconstruction of comprehensive public infrastructure projects
  • Strategic property acquisition to preserve land for future transit oriented development

Related links and materials

A virtual info session was held on Thursday, March 10, and provided an overview of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) the TOD Predevelopment assistance pilot, and the Community Investment Initiative.

Program background

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 over $47 million to 165 projects along key Hennepin County transit corridors such as Hiawatha, Central Corridor, Southwest, Bottineau, and other high frequency and express bus routes.

These investments have contributed to:

  • More than $1.3 billion in development
  • Over 13,000 new or retained housing units
  • 3,300 new or retained jobs
  • More than 2.5 million square feet of new or retained commercial and office space
  • New pedestrian and bicycle connections to transit

Predevelopment assistance

The expression of interest form is now available and must be submitted by Thursday, June 9, at 3 p.m. See process and timeline below for additional details. 

The Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HCHRA) anticipates offering a pilot initiative within the 2022 Transit Oriented Development program. The purpose of this pilot is to address barriers faced by emerging local developers in accessing capital needed for predevelopment activities. If approved and pursued by the HCHRA, eligible emerging developers will be matched with specialized predevelopment assistance through qualified third-party professionals paid for by HCHRA.

Predevelopment assistance is intended to:

  • Expand and diversify the pool of local real estate developers in Hennepin County
  • Support emerging developers, particularly those from historically marginalized groups, overcome barriers to accessing financial and knowledge capital to enter the development industry
  • Build capacity of community-based developers pursuing projects in transit-oriented communities with a history of disinvestment
  • Advance the goals of the TOD program in alignment with the County’s disparity reduction efforts.

Resources available

A total value of up to $200,000 in predevelopment assistance is expected to be available.

Eligible developers can request:

  • Up to $30,000 in value for projects with site control
  • Up to $10,000 in value for projects without site control

The value awarded per eligible request will be determined by the HCHRA.  Amount of predevelopment funding provided by other public or private sources, such as the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) or City of Minneapolis, may affect the amount provided to ensure there is no duplication of funding from other sources.

Examples of predevelopment assistance available:

  • Financial feasibility analysis/pro forma development
  • Developing preliminary architectural concepts and fit plans
  • Preliminary cost estimating
  • Entitlement
  • Acquisition due diligence

Process and timeline

  • An expression of interest form is required to be considered for predevelopment assistance. Forms must be submitted by June 9, 2022 at 3 p.m.
  • The deadline to submit general application questions is May 20, 2022 by 3:00pm. 
  • A decision by the HCHRA whether to proceed with predevelopment assistance is anticipated in July 2022. Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible developers who expressed interest.
  • To access up to $30,000, eligible developers must have a signed purchase agreement by August 2022.
  • Predevelopment services must be completed and invoiced to the HCHRA by December 31, 2022.

Who can express interest

New or emerging for-profit or non-profit local developers (based in Minnesota) that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Limited experience (two or fewer projects completed), seeking to grow capacity
  • Actively pursuing commercial, mixed-use, or multifamily real estate development on one or more sites in eligible transit-oriented communities in Hennepin County
  • Have some degree of site control and/or other forms of investment in the proposed project
  • Lacking sufficient capital to support predevelopment activities and in need of predevelopment technical assistance
  • Able to commit 20% of the amount requested to complete the desired pre-development activities. For example, a minimum of $2,000 is required to access $10,000 in predevelopment assistance; $6,000 is required to access $30,000.

Established developers who have completed more than two projects either by entity or beneficial ownership are not eligible for this assistance. Other ineligible requests include:

  • Single-asset entities (such as a limited liability company, or LLC) affiliated with an experienced, and/or large-scale developer
  • Emerging developers who are based outside the region and/or state
  • Pre-development activities already completed

Next steps: After completing the form

Upon completion of the expression of interest form, you will receive an email confirmation that the form has been received.  You will then be contacted by a Hennepin County team member within five business days identifying next steps. You may be asked to provide additional documentation to verify the information and provide more detail.


Ryan Kelley