Metropolitan Council recently. The Met Council awarded the city $1 million from a pool of $5.7 million in Livable Community Grants. The grant money was awarded to projects that expand economic development opportunities, intensify and integrate land uses around transit, promote housing affordability and encourage transportation options.
The Livable Communities Demonstration Account (LCDA) grants are awarded to cities participating in the Livable Communities program and will help to advance projects like Champlin’s riverfront redevelopment along 70 acres of the Mississippi, revitalization of blighted property near the Franklin Avenue station area in Minneapolis, and downtown redevelopment in Maple Plain that will create a livable, walkable city center and hub of activity.
“This is one of the most important functions we perform at the Council,” said Met Council Chair Susan Haigh. “The Council has awarded Livable Communities grants since the mid-’90s and it’s really exciting to be able to help communities rebuild and redevelop, create more housing and generate jobs in the process,” she said.
In Champlin, the grant will support the multi-phased redevelopment of a 70-acre area along the Mississippi River. The funding will specifically facilitate the lead and signature project — a two-story restaurant/event center, a 3.5-acre village green and riverfront amphitheatre, a 120-unit market-rate apartment building and parking garage.
“While there are lots of work and decisions still ahead to bring a lead project to fruition, we’re enthused by the Met Council’s endorsement and financial support,” said Champlin’s Deputy Administrator John Cox.
Additionally, the riverfront plan calls for hundreds of housing units, market-rate and affordable, retail and office space, eateries and a hotel, drawing traffic from land and water.
“Year after year, these grants help to transform communities, integrate people and places, ensure the region remains competitive and dynamic, and maintain the quality of life that continues to attract quality employers,” said Haigh.
The grants were reviewed and recommended by the Livable Communities Advisory Committee, led by Apple Valley Mayor Mary Hamann-Roland.
The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Council runs the regional bus and light rail system and Northstar commuter rail, collects and treats wastewater, coordinates regional water resources, plans regional parks and administers funds that provide housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. The Council board is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor.