Met Council Awards Gallery Flats Project $15,000

The money will be used for cleanup at the old Lutheran Digest building.

The Gallery Flats project at the former Lutheran Digest building is one of 14 redevelopment projects to receive a piece of nearly $2.4 million in Livable Communities brownfield investigation and cleanup grants, the Metropolitan Council announced Wednesday.

The Met Council approved $15,000 for the Gallery Flats project to help with soil remediation and asbestos abatement at the old Lutheran Digest site at 31 Ninth Ave. S. Developer Klodt Cos. plans a mixed-use project on the property and the neighboring Park Nicollet site that will have a total of 163 apartments.

The Met Council awards about $5 million a year in brownfield cleanup money, which is only available to the more than 90 metro-area communities that participate in the council’s Livable Communities program. The program provides money for:

  1. Affordable housing,
  2. Development that promotes mixed-use and connected land use linking housing, jobs and services and
  3. Brownfield or polluted site cleanup.

 “The Livable Communities grants for brownfield cleanup are an important tool for local governments to help create jobs and promote economic development,” the news release quoted Met Council Chairwoman Susan Haigh.  “The resources we are allocating now will help clean up 44 acres, create or retain 1,400 jobs, increase the net tax base by $2.4 million, help to produce 158 affordable housing units and encourage nearly $200 million in private investment. That’s an exciting return on investment.”


Grants awarded

Contamination Site Investigation grants:

  • Harris Machinery, Minneapolis—$21,000 to help with environmental site assessments, hazardous material survey and development of a Response Action Plan on a 4.3 acre commercial site with nine industrial buildings that were used for woodworking, metalworking and storage. Plans under consideration include development of a conference center and/or hotel or housing.

Contamination Cleanup grants:

  • 4001 Lakebreeze, Brooklyn Center--$179,300 to assist with additional soil remediation and continued groundwater monitoring on a vacant 8.4-acre commercial site that recently included an athletic club. Plans call for development of a 90,000-square-foot multi-tenant office warehouse building.
  • Pentagon Park North (Phase I), Edina--$568,000 to help with asbestos and lead-based paint abatement of four vacant industrial buildings on an 11-acre commercial site. Plans call for renovation of existing buildings into approximately 234,000 square feet of office space.
  • Gallery Flats, Hopkins--$15,000 to help with soil remediation and asbestos abatement at the former Lutheran Digest Building on a 1.8-acre commercial site. Plans call for development of 163 apartments.
  • 4250 Upton, Minneapolis—$75,400 for additional environmental site assessment, asbestos abatement and soil remediation on a 0.6-acre commercial site that previously included a gas station.  Plans include development of 18 condominiums within a three-story building, with 6,000 square feet of ground-level, multi-tenant commercial space.
  • City Place Lofts, Minneapolis--$184,600 to assist with asbestos and lead-based paint abatement at an eight-story historic building on a 0.2-acre commercial site, most recently used as office and educational space. Plans call for development of 55 affordable apartments and ground-level commercial space.
  • The GAV, Minneapolis--$44,300 to help with asbestos abatement, soil remediation and soil vapor remediation at a 0.3-acre commercial site with a vacant gas station. Plans call for development of a three-story, 19,000-square-foot office building.
  • Mill & Main (Phase II), Minneapolis--$65,200 to assist with soil remediation at a 1.3-acre industrial site with a vacant building formerly used for milling operations. Plans include development of 182 apartments.
  • Surly Brewing, Minneapolis--$545,300 to assist with additional environmental investigation and soil remediation at an 8.3-acre vacant industrial site. Planned development includes a brewery, retail sales and indoor and outdoor entertainment space.
  • WaHu Student Housing, Minneapolis--$324,800 to help with environmental investigation, asbestos abatement and soil remediation at a 1.9-acre commercial site with a variety of previous industrial and commercial uses. Planned uses include mixed-use development with 333 apartments with ground-level retail and commercial space.
  • Knauff Salvage Yard, Newport--$93,100 to help pay for asbestos and lead-based paint abatement, soil remediation and well sealing at a 5.6-acre salvage yard. Plans call for development of a 60,000-square-foot, single-tenant industrial building.
  • Downtown Restaurant Expansion, Robbinsdale--$25,900 to help with asbestos abatement at a 0.2-acre foreclosed commercial site. Plans call for development of 4,800 square feet of restaurant space with additional lower-level storage and refrigeration space.
  • Brownstone, St. Paul--$182,600 to assist with asbestos and lead-based paint abatement and soil remediation at a 0.8-acre commercial site with a commercial building that has historically housed a gas station. Plans call for mixed-use development including 24 units of affordable housing, nearly 14,000 square feet of multi-tenant ground-floor commercial or retail space and nearly the same square footage for not-for-profit office space, as well as some open space.
  • Piccadilly Square, Mahtomedi--$44,600 to help with asbestos and lead-based paint abatement, soil remediation and environmental site investigation at a 3.3-acre commercial site with a vacant restaurant. Plans call for development of 78 affordable senior apartments.


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Donna Duchene January 10, 2013 at 02:03 PM
Would really like to see more co-op,townhouse or condo type housing on this property. Hopkins has a very large amount of rental properties for its size(Way over 40%). Private ownership of units/homes promotes a more stable tax base which benefits not only the city, but the school district as well.
James Warden January 10, 2013 at 02:37 PM
You're right that it's well over 40 percent. The rental rate in Hopkins is 61 percent, according to the most recent Met Council data. By contrast, the rate is 29 percent for the seven-county metro area and 35 percent for Hennepin County.
Donna Duchene January 10, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Glad you took the time to look up the demographics. The rate is MUCH higher than the last time I had occasion to research. This is way out of proportion for a town of this size.
Sally Henkel January 11, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Apartments pay property taxes at a much higher rate than single family homes. People have a perception of who a renter is; unstable, young, irresponsible. When in fact renters are often former homeowners (especially these days), seniors, wealthy individuals going through a divorce, executives new in town, etc. with rent levels where they are today I new construction the average income for this community will be between $50,000 - $60,000/year. Criminal and credit backgrounds will most likely need to be passed unordered to live here. There's never a criminal background done on a condo, coo-op or the house next door. And there's a good reason it's not a for sale development. That ship sailed in 2006 and might not come back for years. Renting is an excellent option for all kinds of people with all kinds of situations. See the article below on taxes. And try to keep an open mind. Klodt does a nice job. They have years of experience with apartment developments. http://www.nmhc.org/Newsletter.cfm?ItemNumber=54914
James Warden January 11, 2013 at 01:13 AM
Good points all around. To elaborate on Sally's point, one point they keep making in the LRT meetings is about how the housing preferences of seniors and young adults are now converging. According to surveys, both groups want to be in communities where they can live, work and play. Both want easy access to transit. Both want to be in walkable communities. That's what Hopkins is trying to do with its downtown. Patch also looked at another benefit of rentals a couple years ago. You can check it out here: "Apartments Help Hopkins Fend off Worst of Housing Crisis" http://hopkins.patch.com/articles/apartments-may-have-helped-hopkins-fend-off-worst-of-housing-crisis


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