City awarded $1.6 million in grants from Metropolitan Council to fund West Side Flats projects

December 15, 2016

Mollie Scozzari, Marketing & Public Relations Manager
City of Saint Paul, Department of Planning & Economic Development
651-266-6575 (o); 651-387-9045 (c) 

City awarded $1.6 million in grants from Metropolitan Council to fund West Side Flats projects

SAINT PAUL – On December 14, the Metropolitan Council approved two Livable Community Demonstration Account (LCDA) grants totaling $1.6 million to support the next phases of development at the City of Saint Paul’s West Side Flats. The City was awarded $800,000 for the next phase of the Sherman Associates West Side Flats project at the northwest corner of Livingston and Fillmore avenues. In addition, the City received $800,000 for the West Side Flats Greenway project to begin the first phase of a district-wide stormwater management and green amenity infrastructure that will extend from the Mississippi River south to Plato Boulevard.

“Our vision is for the West Side Flats to emerge as a thriving riverfront urban village that connects the larger West Side community to the Mississippi River and downtown Saint Paul,” said Jonathan Sage-Martinson, director of planning and economic development for the City of Saint Paul. “We appreciate this grant funding from the Metropolitan Council, which will help bring both market-rate and affordable housing, as well as a great new public greenway amenity to Saint Paul at the West Side Flats.” 

West Side Flats is a 40-acre brownfield site just across the Mississippi River from downtown in Saint Paul’s West Side neighborhood. The City worked closely with the West Side Community Organization in 2013 to seek community input to refine a master plan for redevelopment of the area.

The Sherman Associates development at West Side Flats will include two buildings totaling 264 apartment units. The development will have strong physical and visual connections to the river’s edge, a network of public spaces, a restaurant, restored natural systems, urban neighborhood design, and a mix of market-rate and affordable housing. The City of Saint Paul is currently reviewing the site plans, and construction is anticipated to begin in 2017.

“We are thankful for the Met Council’s support of this brownfield redevelopment,” said George Sherman of Sherman Associates. “The West Side Flats will be an incredible asset to Saint Paul as a residential-focused development that will bring fun and environmentally friendly amenities, making it a great place to live.”

To meet the West Side Flats site’s increased stormwater management needs due to planned new developments, a scenic greenway will be constructed to provide both stormwater management infrastructure and public open space. The 1,450-foot-wide, six-acre greenway of plants and trees will extend from the Mississippi River levee through the development. The greenway will help clean and filter water before it empties back into the Mississippi River. The City is exploring a partnership with Weidner Apartment Homes to build the greenway, with construction of the initial phase anticipated to begin in 2017. Weidner Apartment Homes is also developing a large portion of the West Side Flats.

The West Side Flats projects are two of eight LCDA grants awarded by the Met Council for 2016. Criteria include a focus on affordable housing and employment growth areas, mixed housing opportunities, and public infrastructure investments.