PLACE project in St. Louis Park receives state cleanup funds

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development awarded grants totaling $4.6 million to clean up or investigate contamination at 10 sites in Minnesota, including more than $895,000 for the St. Louis Park Economic Development Authority to support the Projects Linking Art, Community & Environment project near Wooddale Avenue and Highway 7.

The funding will help clean up the nearly 7-acre site containing petroleum and other contaminants. The site, formerly used for industrial purposes including food manufacturing and packaging, railroad disposal, steel manufacturing and petroleum storage, will be redeveloped with 299 apartment units, including 200 affordable units; a 110-room hotel; a café; a coffee shop; a bike shop; an urban forest; and a renewable energy plant. The PLACE project will create 35 jobs and increase the tax base by $1.1 million, according to the state economic department. Matching costs will be paid by the developer and other grant sources.

The economic department’s cleanup grants, which are awarded twice a year, account for about 75 percent of funding used for reclaiming polluted sites and brownfields statewide. The remaining 25 percent comes from the Metropolitan Council, cities, counties, other local units of government, private landowners and developers.