Metropolitan Council Provides Grants to Enhance the Community


Photo courtesy of City of Edina & Mohagen Hansen Architects

Mohagen Hansen Architects provides Edina with their architectual vision for the development of 50th & France.

Maren Naegele, manager

The Metropolitan Council, a governmental agency focused on the strategic growth within the Twin Cities, recently awarded more than $10 million to community developmental projects throughout the Minneapolis metro area. The council’s Livable Communities Act program, which invests in driving communities’ economies and creating affordable housing, issued the grants earlier this year. The Metropolitan Council has already approved nearly $370 million to projects since the Livable Communities program was created in 1995, and in total have created nearly 55,000 jobs, redeveloped 2,400 acres of property, and built 24,000 affordable housing properties. All proposed projects undergo a competitive application process and are required to meet specific criteria in order for the Metropolitan Council to approve and award specific grants. This year, two Edina projects were approved, and over $2 million has been awarded to the Edina Collaborative/Market Street and the Avenue on France.  

A $1.4 million grant was given to The Collaborative Edina, the area around Lunds and the US Bank in Edina, to replace the parking lot and ramp at 50th Street and France Avenue with affordable housing, retail spaces, and an underground parking lot. Additionally, developers will add outdoor spaces that are open to the public for recreational use. The private developer plans to partner with local artists and the Edina School District to beautify the new spaces.The second grant for $1.3 million was given to The Avenue on France. The project there will involve the redevelopment of a 22-acre office park into a medical building, retail stores, as well as office and residential spaces. The development will also include a storm water management feature, which will reduce the possibility of flooding and property damage from rain, snow and ice.

Both grants will be incredibly beneficial to the city as they aim to stimulate public interest in retail stores and residential areas, as well as provide new sidewalks, benches, and public plazas among other things. Additionally, the new developments will create permanent full-time jobs at the retail and residential spaces, as well as temporary construction jobs.

Other than the two Edina grants, four more grants were given to Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Roseville. According to the Sun Current, all together, these grants will “add 268 affordable and 322 market-rate homes, create more than 1,000 full time jobs and 1,200 temporary jobs, increase the net tax capacity by nearly $3 million and leverage more than $270 million in private and public investment.” Within the next year, France Avenue and areas near Southdale will be transformed into new office and residence spaces, as well as retail stores for the community to enjoy.