Brownfield Grant Programs
Are you the owner or developer of a property (located in the City of Minneapolis) that is known (or suspected) to be contaminated? If so, you are encouraged to investigate the possibility of obtaining grant funds to assist with the cost of investigation and/or cleanup (remediation).
General Overview of Grant Programs
Grant applications for environmental remediation projects are periodically solicited by Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the Metropolitan Council, and Hennepin County. The City’s Department of Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED) works with potential applicants to review proposed projects and submit to the grantors the applications that reflect the best combination of development potential, consistency with City and neighborhood plans, job and/or affordable housing creation, and sustainable construction practices.
For a property or project located within the City of Minneapolis, the City must (in most cases) be the “official” applicant, and/or the City Council must approve a resolution in support of the application, in order for that application to be considered by the grantor(s). (However, the grant application must actually be prepared by the owner/developer that is seeking the funding). The application process outlined below is designed to generate the City Council resolution required by the grantors.
Amount of Grant Funding Available
The next brownfield grant round will have a May 1, 2019 final application deadline. DEED typically makes about $4 million in brownfield grant funding available per round. The Metropolitan Council usually awards about $2.5 million per round. Hennepin County will probably not be participating in the spring 2019 grant round, but please check with City staff (see “For More Information” section below) periodically for updates in that regard.
The City’s Pre-Application Process
If you wish or intend to apply for funding in the May 1, 2019 [spring] brownfield grant round, information regarding the City's pre-application requirements will be posted here on or before February 1, 2019. The City’s pre-application deadline for the May 1, 2019 round will likely be in early March of 2019. For preliminary guidance prior to that time, contact City staff (see “For More Information” section below).
City Informational Meeting
The City of Minneapolis will be conducting an informal meeting for prospective brownfield grant applicants (and any other interested parties) in February of 2019. Check back here for scheduling information on or after January 15, 2019.
Email Distribution List
If you are involved in a project that currently plans to seek grant funding in the spring 2019 brownfield grant round, please notify Kevin Carroll, who is creating a separate email distribution list for prospective grant applicants and other interested parties. The email distribution list will be used to provide periodic updates regarding the process and to solicit any supplemental information that the City may need in connection with its review of the submitted pre-applications.
City Grant-Related Fees
The City of Minneapolis has a grant application processing fee, which must accompany any pre-application(s) that is/are submitted to the City in connection with the spring 2019 brownfield grant round. Check back here on or after February 1, 2019 for more information about the applicable grant application processing fee(s).
The City of Minneapolis also has a grant award administration fee in an amount equal to 7% of the amount of any awarded grant(s). Neither grant funds nor City funds may be used to pay this fee. A lower fee (3%) will be applied to housing projects that comply with the City’s Affordable Housing Policy (20% or more of the housing units at or below 60% of the Area Median Income) and commercial/industrial projects located within areas designated as “intervene” (see map; “intervene” areas are dark orange) by the Great Streets Neighborhood Business District Program. For projects in compliance with the City’s affordable housing policy, the grant award administration fee is due at the time of closing with the project’s primary lender. For all other projects, the grant award administration fee is due when the Funding Agreement between the City and the developer is executed. Awarded grant funds are not available until the project is fully-funded and ready to begin construction.
Brownfield Grant Funding Sources (General Information)
- Contamination Investigation and Cleanup Program
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
- Tax Base Revitalization Account (TBRA)
- Environmental Response Fund (ERF)
Application Forms (Required for the Grantors' Application Processes)
- Check back here on or after February 1, 2019 for links to the grantors’ application forms, or contact Kevin Carroll, 612-673-5181 (w) or 651-983-6384 (c).
For More Information
For further information, contact:
Kevin Carroll, Principal Project Coordinator
Business Development Division
Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development
105 Fifth Avenue South, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Technical Assistance; Federal Brownfield Funding
- Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) Program
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s VIC program provides technical assistance and administrative or legal assurances for individuals or businesses seeking to investigate or cleanup contaminated property.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]
The EPA provides programs and funding to assist with the investigation and/or removal of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants.
Benefits of Brownfield Redevelopment in Minnesota (2018 Minnesota Brownfields report)
General Background Information About Brownfields
The Environmental Protection Agency defines brownfields as “abandoned, idled or underused industrial and commercial facilities where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.” The additional costs, time and uncertainty associated with redevelopment often make businesses and developers hesitant to consider these sites without public involvement. Minneapolis is a recognized leader in working with county, regional and state funding and regulatory agencies to address these concerns and successfully return brownfields to productive uses.
Examples of brownfields the city has prepared for productive use include properties in North Washington Jobs Park, former railroad yards in the Seward South Industrial Park, a site in northeast Minneapolis that is now the Quarry Shopping Center, and former rail yards in the Mill Quarter and the Minneapolis Riverfront District that are being redeveloped for riverfront housing and other uses. City staff members have also assisted with the cleanup of scattered sites throughout the City.
Brownfield Program Goals
The goals of the City’s brownfield program include the following:
- Providing sites for living-wage jobs to Minneapolis residents
- Providing sites for new housing options
- Increasing the tax base
- Improving environmental conditions
- Solidifying and strengthening intergovernmental cooperation, and increasing efficiency in delivery of community services
- Recycling city sites to maximize use of existing infrastructure
Since 1994 the City has successfully initiated the clean-up of hundreds of sites, resulting in private investment in excess of $1 billion. Many of the sites were located in former rail yards. Others are former gas stations or converted industrial buildings.
The majority of the remediated sites in the early program years were redeveloped for light industrial use, as it is typically less expensive to clean sites to industrial standards than to residential standards. However, increasing numbers of brownfield sites are being redeveloped for mixed-use or residential development after remediation. Doing so is relatively expensive, which makes the availability of grant funds even more critical to a project’s success.
One of the most outstanding examples of successful land recycling in the City can be found in the Minneapolis Riverfront Story, as initially presented to the Metropolitan Council:
View a slide show about the Minneapolis Riverfront District
Last updated Feb 15, 2019