Home News Decades-vacant Minneapolis apartment building finally being rehabbed

Decades-vacant Minneapolis apartment building finally being rehabbed

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What was once a luxury condominium has become an eyesore and depressing. Now, new life is being given to his three-story brownstone near the corner of Park Avenue and his E. Franklin Avenue.

100-year-old apartment complex at 628 E. Franklin Av. It had been vacant for nearly 25 years, occasionally boarded, and completely burned down.aspiring developers have back and forthplagued by funding troubles and legal battles.

“It was a hotspot for squatters and vandalism,” said Maggie Otte, community development project manager for HOPE Communities, a nonprofit that has rebuilt hundreds of affordable apartments in the neighborhood. . “I think it says something about how the city has left this an eyesore and ravaged this community.”

The building has been in and out of city ownership since 2000.

Last summer, plans were set in motion to sell it to the City of Lakes Community Land Trust and Hope Community. The sale was completed in the fall with substantial support from the city, including $1.3 million from federal community development block grants and $2.4 million from American Rescue Program funds.

The goal is to convert the building into seven condominium units that are affordable to households below 60% of the median income in the area, or between $40,000 and $60,000.

Construction is currently underway and will be completed in October. The completed homes, which include six three-bedroom condominiums and one one-bedroom condominium for families, are expected to go on sale later this year or early 2024.

The building was constructed in 1904 and is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The redevelopment will include a wheelchair-accessible back entrance, while the rest of the exterior will be restored to its original appearance with detailed brickwork on the façade and quinnings around the corners, says architect Marnie Payschel. said.

“It’s been a very challenging project, but a very fun one to work on,” she said. It’s this cool-looking building that’s waiting for something to happen.”

HOPE will prioritize potential buyers who have rented for many years in the surrounding Phillips community.

Owning a home is an asset building tool. But with real estate prices so high, the goal is out of reach for many, said Shannon Smith, HOPE executive his director Mr. Jones. “I’m really excited that this space will make something available to people who normally don’t have access to it.”

According to Roxanne Kimball, the city’s housing and real estate development manager, the Twin Cities region is the country’s most populous because of centuries of policies that exclude people of color from intergenerational wealth-building opportunities. The most striking racial disparities are found in

As a result, areas in Minneapolis where the red line is concentrated among people of color were hit hardest by the 2008 foreclosure crisis, and tend to be the same locations where investment-led purchases were made. there is. detached house In central Minneapolis north and south, real estate values ​​are rapidly outpacing local income growth.

The city sees the investment in closing the racial divide in home ownership as part of the Minneapolis Homes strategy.

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