Affordable housing gets boost from neighborhood's revitalization dollars

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April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) has awarded affordable housing grants to Brighton Development Corp.'s St. Anthony Mill Apartments and Project for Pride in Living (PPLP)'s Elliot Park Commons.

The DMNA board voted recently to award the projects $250,000 and $125,000, respectively. DMNA received the grant money from the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) Affordable Housing Fund.

St. Anthony Mill Apartments, 600 Washington Ave. S., will wrap around a city-owned parking ramp in the heart of the Mill District near the new Mill City Museum and the new riverfront Guthrie Theater.

Current plans call for a 97-unit apartment building, featuring five stories along Washington Avenue South and four stories along Chicago Avenue, said Danielle Salus, an assistant project manager for Brighton.

The St. Anthony Mill Apartments will feature studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments with 17 apartments set aside for people with disabilities who qualify for Section 8 housing, 32 reserved for tenants with incomes at 50 percent of the Twin Cities Metro Area median household income and 33 units for household incomes at 60 percent of the median.

According to the 2000 Census, the median household income in the Twin Cities metro area is $54,304 for a family of four.

The rest of the units, about 15 apartments, will be market-rate and likely reserved for Guthrie Theater artists in residence, Salus said.

Plans also call for commercial spaces at the corner of Washington & Chicago avenues and Chicago Avenue & South 2nd Street.

Construction is expected to start next summer, Salus said.

The DMNA grant for Elliot Park Commons, an apartment building that houses people with disabilities, will go toward a $1.5 million renovation of the residence at 610 E. 15th St. The project falls outside of DMNA's boundaries, but the neighborhood group is allowed to award grants to projects in adjacent neighborhoods, under the NRP Affordable Housing Fund guidelines, said Kim Motes, the board's vice chair.

Project for Pride in Living, a community development group in South Minneapolis, has managed Elliot Park Commons for 10 years and plans to buy the property.

The renovation will outfit the aging apartment building with new kitchens and bathrooms. The renovations are expected to be complete by spring 2006.