After nearly 10 years and $12 million, the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative gathered for a final meeting Friday to review the outcomes of their investment along the Green Line light rail.
The collaborative, made up of 14 local and national foundations, focused on providing access to affordable housing, maintaining a strong local economy and creating vibrant, transit-connected places by the line.
They are on track to achieve some of their goals, such as creating or preserving 4,500 affordable housing units by 2020, said Peter Mathison, with the Wilder Foundation. Wilder has monitored the group’s success.
Researchers found 3,573 affordable housing units have been created or preserved in the area. Residential density has increased and the population of people living around the light rail has grown 14 percent since 2010 to 105,000 people, Mathison said. Median rent costs are also up, he said.
While the number of midsize businesses along the line has grown, the area has seen a decline in small businesses, Wilder researchers found.
Government officials at Friday’s meeting said there is still work to do. But they stressed that their inclusive approach to development would continue and will set a precedent for future transit lines.
“It’s transformed our understanding of what we do with, and for, the community,” Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb said.
Much of the Green Line in St. Paul is near the Rondo community, which was torn apart by the construction of Interstate 94 in the 1950s and 1960s — an outcome the city and collaborative did not want to see repeated with the Green Line.