Often the gritty work of environmental clean-up gets the short shrift when new commercial real estate projects are announced.

The state Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) said recently that it has awarded six grants totaling $2.9 million to either investigate or clean up contamination. Of the grants, four are in Minneapolis:

901 Second St. N., Minneapolis, $30,000: 137 market-rate apartments are proposed for the North Loop on an acre of land formerly owned by the Star Tribune. DEED says the site has had "various commercial and industrial uses over the last 100 years." The development will create three new jobs, and increase the city's tax base by $673,824.

LifeSource headquarters, Minneapolis, $425,665: This 4.8-acre site is contaminated with petroleum and other pollutants from a foundry, foam-panel manufacturer and a paint manufacturer that operated there. It will be redeveloped into a two-story, 40,000-square-foot corporate headquarters for the regional organ and tissue donation organization. The new development will retain 125 jobs, according to DEED. 

The Bridges, Minneapolis, $424,462: The former home of a gas station, this 1.3-acre site is contaminated with petroleum and other pollutants. It will be redeveloped into an 11-story, 211-unit market-rate apartment building. The new development will create eight jobs and increase teh tax base by $617,842, DEED says. 

Velo, Minneapolis, $624,553: This nearly one-acre site, contaminated with petroleum and other pollutants, was once home to a laundry, a newspaper and magazine business, and a printing operation. It will be developed into a six-story 101-unit apartment building with 11,200-square-feet of ground-floor commercial space. The project will create 35 jobs, and increase the tax base by $527,782.

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune.



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