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Riverside Plaza

Description: Riverside Plaza Stabilization and Rehabilitation

Location: 1525 South 4th St. generally bounded by Cedar Ave., S. 4th St., 15th Ave. S., and S. 6th St. in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood. Riverside Plaza is one of several significant community development initiatives in this neighborhood as summarized by this media packet.

Status: The two-year renovation was completed in 2012.

Riverside Plaza History: Designed by architect Ralph Rapson, construction of the 11-building campus was completed in 1973 in the middle of the superblock bounded by Cedar Ave., S. 4th St., 15th Ave. S., and S. 6th St. This unique property remains the largest affordable housing development in the state, functioning as a neighborhood with 1,303 mixed income units housing approximately 4,440 individuals. The campus also has a K-8 charter school, grocery store, and a tenant resource center with various formal and informal social services such as a computer lab and job training supporting over 400 individuals per month.

Project Scope and Objectives: The habitability of Riverside Plaza was at risk because the design lifespan of the major mechanical systems for these buildings had expired and consequently these systems, especially the water and sewer piping systems, boilers and cooling systems, were failing. There were seven broad categories of improvements included in the rehabilitation scope for Riverside Plaza: Mechanical work, energy efficiency improvements, parking ramp and plaza deck improvements, site improvements for safety and circulation enhancements, building exterior renovation, common area interior work, and apartment unit interior work.

Additional objectives of the project included:

  1. Local jobs: This project created over 200 construction jobs over two years. 90 of those jobs were initially reserved for residents in Riverside Plaza and the surrounding Minneapolis neighborhoods.
  2. Green: This project reduced the project’s carbon footprint by reducing utility usage. Xcel and CenterPoint together created custom rebate programs for the energy efficiency improvements.

  3. Improved public safety: Improvements to security, lighting, sidewalks, signage and way-finding compliment new security cameras. The developer is partnering with the City, the West Bank Community Coalition and Riverside Plaza Tenant Association to create an operate a new safety center.
  4. Long term resident support: The developer/owner will provide the Riverside Plaza Tenant Association with up to $4.5 million through 2041 for tenant advocacy and related services subject to HUD surplus cash requirements.
  5. Preserved affordable housing along transit: Extending the useful lifespan of this campus preserved affordable housing for over 4000 residents in close proximity to the existing Hiawatha LRT line and the Central Corridor LRT line.
  6. Improved property aesthetics: The project included painting, landscaping, new window dressings, new trash enclosures, new generator screens, sidewalk repair and parking resurfacing.
  7. Heritage preservation: This renovation preserved a property designed by a notable Minnesota architect, Ralph Rapson, and was developed under HUD’s unique New Town in Town initiative, which was one component of the federal Title VII New Communities program. On December 28, 2010, the Riverside Plaza campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places for the property’s significance in the history architecture, community planning and development.
  8. Leveraged outside investment: The total scope of the project including the debt restructuring and construction has attracted over $117 million of private investment and approximately $17 million of public investment to the City. Approximately 87% of the project is funded with private equity.

Riverside Plaza Development Agreement: The City also negotiated a development agreement memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a workforce plan that addressed the project scope and objectives described above. View the final version of the MOU .

Schedule: Two-year construction period was from 2011 to 2012.

Budget and Funding Partners: $65 million construction cost, $134 million including the debt restructuring.

4% LIHTC Equity (bonds)$ 29,106,637 $ 29,106,637
HUD-Guaranteed 1st Mortgage (bonds)$ 49,950,000 $ 49,950,000
Federal Historic Tax Credits$ 14,767,244 $ 14,767,244
State Historic Tax Credits$ 14,126,603 $ 14,126,603
MN Housing Finance Agency EDHC$ 7,016,350$ 7,016,350 
MN Housing Finance Agency PARIF$ 5,083,650$ 5,083,650 
City of Minneapolis AHTF$ 1,900,000$ 1,900,000 
Greater Metro Housing Corp$ 1,300,000$ 1,300,000 
Met Council LHIA$ 575,000$ 575,000 
Family Housing Fund$ 200,000 $ 200,000
Deferred Developer Fee$ 3,000,000 $ 3,000,000
Seller Equity$ 2,000,000 $ 2,000,000
Cash Flow - Operations for TDC$ 2,962,909 $ 2,962,909
Energy Rebates$ 400,000 $ 400,000
TOTAL$ 132,388,393.0$ 15,875,000.0$ 116,513,393.0

The City is supporting this project with the use of tax exempt housing revenue bonds and federal CDBG funds from the Citys Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF). The Riverside Plaza rehabilitation and stabilization has attracted funding from several funding from other partners including Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, the Metropolitan Council, the Family Housing Fund, and the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation. HUD guaranteed the first mortgage under its 221(d) program, and HUD currently supports the affordable units under a 20 year Housing Assistance Program contract. Brownfield remediation funding applications are pending with Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council.  Online Reports: Project staff report for the housing revenue bond public hearing Project staff report analyzing the Affordable Housing Trust Fund request and the housing revenue bond request

Online information from the City of Minneapolis at

Last updated Nov 1, 2017



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