St. Louis Park's Excelsior and Grand is an example of creating a livable community that has been created within an existing suburban city. Excelsior and Grand, a 15 acre redevelopment along a major community corridor was transformed into a compact town center. It now functions as a local, municipal and regional destination for work, shopping and recreation. The project included an estimate $30 million in public funding from City Tax Increment Financing, State Redevelopment Funds and Metropolitan Council Livable Communities Funds.
The project included a community design process that helped to develop the specifics. These included a phasing plan, market data and financial packaging, a local transit circulator study, and land use tools to ensure a more coordinated plan implementation. The project included vacant and existing dilapidated buildings that were completely transformed. Today they have been replaced by a 1.5 acre town green, amphitheater with transit stops and pedestrian/bicycle connections to a community park (Wolfe Park); multi-story, mixed-use buildings with 338 mixed income residential units, 65,000 square feet of retail space, and shared structured and on-street parking. The housing includes live-work units and affordable apartments. The mixed-use project's design is transit friendly and provides a livable community connecting employment, shopping and housing.
Click here to see a Google Streetview of the Excelsior & Grand development.