The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has awarded Plymouth $775,000 in redevelopment grant funding to tear down the vacant Four Seasons Mall on the southwest corner of the Hwy. 169 and Rockford Road interchange.

The city bought the 16-acre site from Walmart last year and plans to redevelop it with a six-story, 192-unit mixed-income apartment building, a second apartment building with 220 units, two retail buildings and a 32,000-square-foot office building. The city is working with Wellington Management to facilitate the development, which would also include a three-story Plymouth Metrolink park-and-ride.

The project is anticipated to create 72 jobs, retain 60 jobs and increase the tax base by nearly $1.5 million, according to DEED.

"I'm excited about this opportunity which will bring good jobs and housing to our community, improve public transit infrastructure, and increase our local tax base in Plymouth," said state Rep. Ginny Klevorn, DFL-Plymouth.

Tim Harlow


Grants available for rent-burdened communities

Bloomington Public Health is offering grant funding to promote healthful living for tenants in rent-burdened communities — those who spend more than 30% of their household income on rent.

Available grant awards range from $500 to $3,000, and are available to communities in Bloomington, Edina and Richfield. A total of $15,000, provided by the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP), will be administered by the tenant advocacy organization Home Line.

Eligible projects will establish long-term changes that "[make] it easier for renters to make healthy choices," according to the grant website. Examples include forming tenant groups to boost social connections, buying sports equipment for tenants to use or training tenant leaders to address housing problems.

"This grant opportunity, it's not intended for rental assistance, or any kind of that aspect," said SHIP Coordinator Esther Mwangi. "It's more of like helping foster social connectedness, the well-being of tenants and increasing opportunities for optimal health and well-being."

Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. The next application round begins Oct. 16 and lasts a month. Selected projects from that round will receive funding between December 2022 and December 2023.

Katelyn Vue

South St. Paul

Library construction underway

City, county, state and federal officials broke ground Tuesday on a new county library in South St. Paul, to be located on the corner of Marie and Seventh avenues.

Dakota County Commissioners approved funding for the $11.3 million, 16,000-square-foot project — the 10th library in the county system — in early September. The county will use funding from the federal American Rescue Plan to pay for it.

The existing South St. Paul library, one of only a handful of city-owned and run libraries in the metro area, will merge with the county system, including its collection and staff. The existing building will be repurposed, city officials said.

The new library is scheduled to open in early 2024.

Advocates for a new library have said the existing building doesn't meet the community's needs. It's cramped and lacks the study and meeting rooms patrons want — and it would require major repairs.

Still, some community members wanted to keep the old library, which they said was located in a historic building and had the feeling of a small-town library.

Erin Adler