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Brooklyn Park has spent about $8.5 million in city, state and federal stimulus dollars rehabbing homes. It still has nearly $1 million to spend and work continues.
St. Paul received $30 million in federal neighborhood stabilization money.
“It makes a revitalization program possible,” said Sarah Zorn, St. Paul senior project manager. “We had the largest infusion of funding in a long time.”
The city has acquired 276 properties, many more than 100 years old. So far, it has razed and rebuilt 24 homes and renovated 121 homes and rental units. It’s now partnering with private and nonprofit developers to rebuild and renovate more of the properties.
St. Paul has focused on five areas: Frogtown, Payne-Phalen, Railroad Island, Dayton’s Bluff and West Seventh. It has labeled its efforts the “Inspiring Communities” program.
Drawing in families
Kirstin and Barry Madore and their three daughters bought one of the rehabbed homes in Dayton’s Bluff. Sitting on a porch swing, surrounded by a group of neighbor kids, Kirstin Madore gushed about the 1879 home’s mix of provenance and modern amenities.
“We love how old it is. We love the area. We like how close it is to downtown,” said Madore, a teacher at a charter school. “It was a house saved from being torn down. I love the history. … We feel really lucky to have this house.”
In Brooklyn Park, Mayor Lunde said attracting young new families is the most important result of the program.
“Getting good families in these homes is the first way to heal a neighborhood,” he said.
Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804