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ST. PAUL-The Metropolitan Council recently approved $6.2 million in Livable Communities funds for nine projects that demonstrate mixed-use and transit-oriented development and efficient land uses.

This year, the council received 34 proposals from metro-area communities, with requests for funds totaling $38 million. Three of the nine projects awarded are located in developing communities, where most new growth will occur, and will receive $3.5 million or 47% of the total dollars available this year.

“The stiff competition for these funds shows the demand for this type of development and just how popular this program has become,” says council chair Peter Bell. “The distribution of the dollars also reflects this council’s commitment to achieving a more equitable distribution of grants among communities, helping them to efficiently and effectively accommodate growth.”

Livable Communities Demonstration Account grants awarded include: • Ramsey Town Center, Ramsey, MN–$2.2 million to help develop a 322-acre transit-oriented, mixed-use neighborhood. The project will include 2,400 units of lifecycle housing, including affordable units, 775,000 sf of commercial space, 2,100 new jobs, 35 acres of parkland. Council funds will help pay for a parking structure.

• Spruce Street Bridge Project, Farmington, MN–$995,000 to help build the transportation infrastructure needed to connect the city’s downtown with a new commercial, retail and housing development.

• Koch Mobil, St. Paul–$900,000 to help with site preparation for a new urban village to include 1,043 units of housing and 15,500 sf of retail on 65 acres of what was a petroleum industrial site along the Mississippi River.

• Midtown University Village, St. Paul– $550,000 to help remove old buildings in preparation for redeveloping a two-block parcel on the north side of University between Hamden and Carlton avenues. The project will include nearly 300 units of housing, retail, public realm improvements, underground parking and good access to transit.

• City Bella Plaza, Richfield, MN–$500,000 to help make land use connections within development at 66th Street and Lyndale Avenue. Council funds will help create a community plaza and park connected to Wood Lake Nature Center.

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