New Housing Opportunities Case Studies

These case studies demonstrate tools and strategies that increase the supply of new housing through the use of local official controls and policies that help to spur private development, and support the redevelopment of underutilized and contaminated property and the reuse of publicly-owned buildings and land for housing.

Click on one of the photos below to learn more about each case study.

Anoka Condos

The riverfront in downtown Anoka was previously zoned as a downtown business district. The City created a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to meet the shoreland zoning requirements of the Department of Natural Resources and to provide flexibility from strict city zoning regulations. This allowed for residential, commercial and office uses.

Anoka Homestead

The redevelopment area around the Northstar Station in Anoka has had a history of industrial uses/zoning dating back to the late 1800s. The City’s vision for the 100 acre redevelopment area is for transit oriented development and to take advantage of the Northstar rail line. In 2009 the City undertook the task of rezoning the area to Transit Oriented Development (TOD).

Artspace Hastings River Lofts

The $12.6-million, mixed-use Artspace facility is located on an industrial site that sat vacant for years at the east end of downtown. The new construction building, designed by Urban Works Architecture and overseen by Loeffler Construction & Consulting, includes 37 affordable live/work units for artists and their families, at 60% and below of AMI; 2,060 square feet of ground- floor retail space; 1,600 square feet of gallery space; and 3,000 square feet of programmable outdoor community and event green space.

Brooklyn Park - Village Creek - III

The 15-acre project site is located at the intersection of Brooklyn Blvd. and Zane Avenue. The project was made possible in part by $73,900 from the Metropolitan Council Tax Base Revitalization Funds that was used to clean up petroleum contamination in both the soil and groundwater in approximately one third of the site.

Brooklyn Park Mixed-Income Housing Policy

The City of Brooklyn Park is adopting this Policy to encourage the integration of units that are affordable to low- and moderate-income households and working families into new housing developments across the city.

Chaska Clover Ridge

The City of Chaska created Clover Ridge as a planned development within their zoning code. The goal of the project is to provide a mix of housing types within a new traditional neighborhood framework. Clover Ridge is comprised of four different neighborhoods with varying levels of density, price and housing styles.

Edina Policy on Affordable Housing

The City of Edina developed an affordable housing policy in recognition of the need to provide affordable housing in order to maintain a diverse population and to provide housing for those who live or work in the City.

Golden Valley Mixed Income Housing Policy

The City of Golden Valley implemented a policy to meet the City's goal of preserving and promoting economically diverse housing options in their community by creating high quality housing in Golden Valley for households with a variety of income levels, ages, and sizes, and to encourage development of units that are affordable to low and moderate income households and working families.

Grand Central Flats

Grand Central Flats provides 148 units of workforce housing apartments to residents who income-qualify, earning no more than 60% of the Area Median Income. Due to the use of tax exempt bonds as a portion of financing, rents are restricted at 60% AMI for 100% of the 148 apartments. 

Maple Grove

All new residential housing projects in the City of Maple Grove must be submitted as a Planned Unit Development and are scored using a Project Points System (PPS) scoring guide. The project must receive a minimum 75 percent of the possible points to be considered for approval by the City Council.

Midtown Exchange

The redevelopment of the Sears and Roebuck building on Lake Street in Minneapolis brought hundreds of jobs back into the area and turned a vacant 1928 building into a shining example of private/public partnership. The City purchased the former Sears property in 2001 and evaluated numerous development proposals.

Parkway off Central

The Parkway off Central is one of Blaine’s first new apartment complexes in 20 years. The new building has a strong focus on healthy living and community connections. It provides a strong case study example of the potential for medium density suburban housing in the Twin Cities that adds to the range of housing options, and offers opportunities for a healthy community and lifestyle.

St. Louis Park Inclusionary Housing Policy

This policy is being adopted to ensure that a reasonable proportion of each new development receiving City financial assistance include units affordable to low and moderate income households and working families.

Roseville Development Review Committee

The City of Roseville, Minnesota created an internal Development Review Committee (DRC) to help expedite the review and permit process within the City. The DRC consists of representatives of all departments, administration, community development, police, fire, engineering and public works, streets and utilities and parks and recreation.

Twin Cities Community Land Bank

Within the Minneapolis Twin Cities seven county region, new resources are available to help public entities purchase and hold available land and properties to meet longer term community housing goals. A good example of this is the Twin Cities Community Land Bank, a nonprofit organization that was formed by the Family Housing Fund to meet the changing housing needs in Twin Cities’ neighborhoods and communities.

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

In the spring of 2009, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (TCHFH) broke ground on what will be their first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified multi-family townhome development. After working with the City of St. Paul for seven years, extensive soil testing and several site plans, TCHFH purchased a tax forfeited property for $1. The building will be an owner-occupied multifamily unit with 6 three-bedroom town homes located on 2 separate buildings on the Eastside of St. Paul.

Woodbury Housing Implementation

Woodbury’s 2008 housing implementation plan is a very good example of providing for a full range of housing choices by adopting flexible regulatory and using numerous financial tools.