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The CoO Lending Team Advances Affordable Housing and Equitable TOD

December 19, 2013
Kate Speed, Twin Cities LISC

The Corridors of Opportunity Lending team, made up of staff from the Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Twin Cities Community Land Bank, and the Family Housing Fund, is working together to support and advance affordable housing and equitable transit oriented development (TOD) projects along Central, Hiawatha, and Southwest light rail transit (LRT) corridors.

Over the past year the group approved five mixed-use TOD loans and three single-family loans totaling $6.6 million that will help to catalyze investment and transform neighborhoods along the three corridors.

MIXED-USE TOD PROJECTS

 

Project: Western U Plaza
Developer: Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation & Sand Companies, Inc.
Location: Western Avenue Station on the Central Corridor in St. Paul
Total loan amount: $680,000

Aurora St. Anthony NDC and Sand Companies are partnering to develop Western U Plaza, a catalytic, mixed-use TOD project on the former Old Home Dairy site adjacent to the Western Ave. Station on the Central Corridor in St. Paul.  The project includes 57 units of housing affordable to households earning less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), including 7 units for long-term homeless individuals. The project will also contain 5,000 square feet of first floor commercial space. The historic preservation of the Old Home Dairy building and architectural design of the overall project will create an exciting landmark symbolizing the merging of the old and the new.  Corridors of Opportunity funds are helping to cover predevelopment expenses to advance the project. Construction is expected to being in early 2014.

 

Project: Hamline Station TOD
Developer: Project for Pride in Living, Inc. (PPL)
Location: Hamline Station on the Central Corridor in St. Paul
Total loan amount: $570,000

PPL plans to redevelop a vacant lot adjacent to the Hamline LRT Station into 108 units of affordable workforce and family housing, including 10 units of permanent supportive housing, and 13,000 sq. ft. of first-floor commercial space. An outdoor plaza will create a space for outdoor seating and community events and help to connect the project’s residents and businesses with transit riders and the surrounding neighborhood residents. Corridors of Opportunity funds are helping to cover predevelopment expenses to advance the project. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2014.
 

Project: Corcoran Triangle
Developer: Wellington Management, Inc.
Location: Lake St,/ Midtown Station on the Hiawatha Corridor in Minneapolis
Total loan amount: $1,000,000

Wellington Management, Inc. plans to develop the Corcoran Triangle, 103 units of rental housing affordable to households earning below 60% AMI.  Over a third of the units will be three-bedroom units for large families. The project is within walking distance to the Lake St./ Midtown Station along the Hiawatha LRT Corridor and residents will have easy access to the YWCA, restaurants, retail and other services in addition to job opportunities in Downtown Minneapolis, the MSP Airport and Mall of America. Corcoran Triangle will improve a highly visible and underutilized vacant lot, bringing high quality affordable to the neighborhood. Corridors of Opportunity funds are helping to cover predevelopment expenses to advance the project. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2014.

 

Project: Oxford Green Apartments
Developer: Project for Pride in Living, Inc. (PPL)
Location: Blake Road Station on the planned Southwest Corridor in Hopkins
Total loan amount: $1,505,800

Corridors of Opportunity funds were used to help PPL acquire six duplexes near the Blake Road Station on the planned Southwest LRT for the future development of the Oxford Green Apartments. The proposed project will provide 51 units of high quality affordable housing for households earning less than 50% of the AMI, including 4 long-term homeless units. The site is situated adjacent to Cottageville Park and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed and its close proximity to multi-modal transit improvements will help better connect low and moderate income residents to the regional economy and valuable area amenities. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2015.

 

Project: Prospect Park Village/ Boeser Phase 1
Developer: The Cornerstone Group
Location: Prospect Park Station on the Central Corridor in Minneapolis
Total loan amount: $1,650,000

The Cornerstone Group is proposing to develop a high impact TOD project on the former industrial Boeser Sheet Metal site near the Prospect Park station on the Central Corridor in Minneapolis. Phase I includes 204 units of energy efficient multifamily housing, 42 of which would be affordable to households earning less than 50% AMI.  The redevelopment of the Boeser site will help accelerate the transformation of this industrial district into a vibrant, mixed-use district that provides equitable opportunities for people of all income levels to live, work, and play. Corridors of Opportunity funds are helping to cover predevelopment expenses to advance the project. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2015.

 

SINGLE-FAMILY HOME LOANS

Developers focused on single-family housing will predominantly use loan funds to rehab and construct single family homes within the corridors, which will be sold to low and moderate income households. The developers are held to quality and energy-efficiency standards as well as being required to hire people from communities of color and the local neighborhood.

Developer:  Urban Homeworks
Total loan amount: $400,000 (line of credit)
Corridors of Opportunity loan funds will be used to construct four new single-family homes on vacant, City-owned Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) lots in the Frogtown Neighborhood along the Central Corridor in St. Paul. Urban Homeworks is partnering with Goodwill Easter Seals, which will serve as general contractor using crews of low-income and minority trainees.

Developer: Greater Frogtown Community Development Corporation
Total loan amount: $300,000 (line of credit)
Corridors of Opportunity loan funds will be used to construct four new single-family homes on vacant, City-owned Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) lots in the Frogtown Neighborhood along the Central Corridor in St. Paul over the next year.

Developer: MCASA Homes
Total loan amount: $500,000
MCASA Homes is a partnership between Model Cities Community Development Corporation and Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation to provide opportunities for low- and moderate-income homebuyers- primarily from communities of color– to own their own home. MCASA pairs development with intensive financial coaching and homebuyer counseling to help pave the way for successful homeownership. Corridors of Opportunity funds will be used to help acquire and rehab four single-family homes over the next year.

 

PROJECTED OUTCOMES

Overall, since early 2012, the Corridors of Opportunity Lending Team has approved $9.5 million in loans. Combined, these investments are expected to:

  • Create or preserve over 650 residential units (75% permanently affordable)
  • Create 18,000 sq. ft. of commercial space;
  • Leverage $150 million in public and private investment;
  • Generate >$18 million in contracting opportunities for Minority or Women Business Enterprises.