Housing pitched for Mpls. shelter site

The Red Lake Nation has laid the groundwork for plans to build a 110-unit affordable-housing complex to replace a temporary camp for the homeless in south Minneapolis.

The site, in an industrial area off Cedar Avenue close to Hiawatha Avenue and the Franklin Avenue light-rail station, is now leased by the city for a temporary homeless settlement made up of large heated tents.

The housing complex, which is being called Mino-bimaadiziwin (Ojibwe for “the good life”), would include studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. Units will be available for people earning 30, 50 and 60 percent of the area median income.

The six-story building would include a level of underground parking, a Red Lake Nation Embassy, a wellness clinic, fitness center, community room and other amenities.

The project is estimated to cost $35.8 million, and the Red Lake Nation has already secured funds from a variety of sources. The developer has also requested tax increment financing from the city. The city’s housing policy and development committee was supposed to discuss the project on Tuesday, but the committee did not have enough members in attendance to reach a quorum, so the meeting was rescheduled to Feb. 27. The development was also on the Feb. 14 schedule of the planning commission’s committee of the whole.

If the project is given the necessary approvals, construction is expected to begin later this year with completion scheduled in the winter of 2020.

Nicole Norfleet


Detroit convention center to get TCF name

TCF Financial will soon have its name on the convention center in Detroit as a result of its pending merger with Chemical Financial Corp.

After the proposed TCF/Chemical deal gets final approvals, the new name of the facility will be TCF Center.

When TCF and Chemical were negotiating their merger of equals this month, both sides were aware Chemical was negotiating a $33 million, 22-year deal to have its name on the Detroit convention center, a 59-year old landmark in Detroit that is home of the annual Detroit Auto Show.

Last week, Chemical Financial and the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority announced that Chemical had won the naming rights to the center. In a release announcing the deal, they said the facility will remain the Cobo Center until the end of 2019.

By that time, the proposed merger between TCF and Chemical should be complete. As part of the negotiations for the deal, it was agreed that the headquarters would be in Detroit where Chemical is building a 20-story, $60 million office building downtown, but the name of the company would be TCF Financial.

Opened in 1960, the Cobo Center has 723,000 square feet of exhibit space and is the 17th-largest convention center in the United States.

In 2005, Wayzata-based TCF Financial agreed to a 26-year, $35 million sponsorship agreement with the University of Minnesota to support Gopher athletics and the construction of TCF Bank Stadium. The parties amended that deal in 2017, investing another $8 million in part to support the University’s Athletes Village.

The merger between TCF and Chemical could enhance the value of naming rights deals for TCF Bank Stadium since the combined footprint now includes more Big Ten Conference cities.

Patrick Kennedy


East Town Apartments breaks ground

Despite a lingering lawsuit, the East Town Apartments close to U.S. Bank Stadium conducted a ceremonial groundbreaking earlier this month.

The 169-unit, affordable-housing project is being built on a parking lot next to the First Covenant Church on S. 9th Avenue across 6th Street from the stadium.

The six-story building will include studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $763 to $1,491.

“First Covenant recognizes the tremendous need for more affordable housing in downtown Minneapolis,” said Dan Collison, lead pastor of First Covenant Church, in a statement. “To this end we believe that our church’s ongoing work regarding human flourishing and economic equality converge with CHDC’s idea of a large affordable housing project on our site.”

The $42 million workforce housing project was expected to be finished in time for last year’s Super Bowl, which was played at the stadium, but the project was delayed.

Last fall, the development’s former partner, Ryan Cos., sued the project’s nonprofit developer, Community Housing Development Corp., and the church, saying it was owed $2.3 million for its work on the project.

Ryan Cos. had sought temporary injunction relief, which would have further delayed the project, but a Hennepin County district judge denied the motion. Litigation is ongoing.

Nicole Norfleet