Former Midway Shopping Center site, Hamm’s Brewery receive Met Council grants

17 July 2023

United Village, the largely-vacant space around the Allianz Field soccer stadium in St. Paul, will receive a $652,000 boost from the Metropolitan Council aimed at readying the land for future real estate development.

The Met Council, the seven-county metro’s regional planning agency, recently approved nearly $3.4 million in grants related to environmental clean-up or investigation at brownfield sites across the metro, as well as other pre-development work related to future housing and commercial construction.

Among the grants awarded was $652,000 to the St. Paul Port Authority for contamination clean-up and environmental oversight at a 7.4-acre site along University Avenue, fronting Allianz Field, the home of the Minnesota United soccer team.

According to the grant application, redevelopment is likely to include an 87,000-square-foot, four-story office building with retail space, as well as a 170-unit hotel where the Midway Shopping Center once stood. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is listed as a funding partner.

The Prior Works building in St. Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone will receive $174,900 for environmental mitigation at an 8.8-acre site at 755 Prior Ave. North. Plans call for renovation of about 100,000 square feet of vacant space within existing buildings, as well as added commercial, office and industrial multi-tenant spaces. DEED is also listed as a funding partner.

Another category of grants — “Seeding Equitable Environmental Development Projects,” or “SEED” — aims to promote job and housing investment in neighborhoods that show levels of building permit activity or high concentrations of low-wage jobs, people of color and low-income households.

The Hamm’s Brewery redevelopment site on Minnehaha Avenue East in St. Paul received $50,000 toward assessment and inspection. The project also received $275,000 in pre-development grant funds toward engagement, design and planning. Plans call for a new artistic, commercial and residential hub led by JB Vang Partners, Inc.

Rice Street Gardens in Maplewood received $150,000 in pre-development grant funds for engagement and site planning toward a new development that will include about 28 units of homeownership housing, up to 130 units of multi-family housing and preservation of a community garden.

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