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ST. PAUL-The Metropolitan Council recently approved $2.7 million in grants to clean up eight brownfields, including those in Minneapolis, New Brighton, St. Louis Park, St. Paul and South St. Paul. “A relatively modest investment of regional dollars allows us to capitalize on other public and private investment and reap the benefits of redevelopment,” says Metropolitan Council chairman Peter Bell.

The biggest grant went to the Northwest Quadrant in New Brighton–$850,000 to help clean up a 45-acre site at Interstate 35W and Interstate 694 and along Old Highway 8 for redevelopment. Medtronic, Inc. is proposing the development of up to 1.5 million sf of office and laboratory space on the site.

Next in size was $827,420 for the Minnesota Innovation Center in Minneapolis to support the redevelopment of a 65-acre site near Malcolm Avenue and two blocks north of University Avenue to establish a state-of-the-art research park venue for collaboration between University of Minnesota students and faculty and Minnesota-based biomedical/biotechnology related companies.

Also approved was $750,000 for Midtown Exchange in Minneapolis, the former Sears warehouse site. Current plans would redevelop the site for mixed uses, including housing, parking structure, public transit center, hotel, headquarters office for the Allina Healthcare Corp., a Global Marketplace, Hennepin County Service Center, and other office and retail uses.

Also getting a sizeable grant was the Holtkoetter Expansion in South St. Paul–$155,740 to help clean up land contaminated as a result of animal processing facilities for expansion of an existing business, which proposes adding 35,000 sf for assembly and warehouse space.

Since the program was launched in 1996, the Council has awarded more than $47 million in grants to clean up more than 1,000 acres of polluted land for redevelopment, create more than 17,000 new jobs and increase net tax capacity by nearly $37 million. The investment has helped to leverage more than $2.2 billion in private redevelopment.

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