Dominium to Rehabilitate Historic Twin Cities Site
Why the company is converting historic buildings to affordable housing.
By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor
St. Paul, Minn.—Dominium has secured provisional approval to rehabilitate the historic Fort Snelling Upper Post in the heart of the Twin Cities, and plan to create 190 affordable housing units in 26 historic buildings.
“Our proposal is to create a unique housing destination that is not only rich in history, but will provide a quality workforce living option at an affordable price,” Russ Condas, Dominium’s development associate, told MHN. “In addition, the Upper Post is an impressive location with attractive architecture dating back to the 1800s, as well as large amounts of open landscaped areas that are not found in modern locations.”
The approximately $100 million project will be financed through a combination of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, and other sources.
At this point in time the plans are in their developmental stage and the amenities are not yet known.
“Through our partnership with the DNR, we plan to work to incorporate a number of amenities that will connect people to the history of the buildings, the outdoors, as well as create an indoor amenity package that will make for a comfortable and fun place to call home,” Condas said. “Dominium is excited by both the challenge of preserving this MN (and national) landmark as well as the opportunity to provide much needed housing in the area.”
Dominium has worked over the past 40 years to create and preserve affordable housing throughout the country. In more recent years, Dominium has had the opportunity to incorporate its core business into historically significant buildings such as the Pillsbury A-mill in Minneapolis, the Schmidt Brewery, in St. Paul, and the Arcade building in St. Louis.
According to Condas, the Upper Post is surrounded by industry with very little affordable options. Dominium’s research shows that in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, there are only 34 apartments that are affordable and available for every 100 residents making less than $20,000 a year.
“Now, more than ever, there is a large demand for affordable housing. Working wages are not increasing at the same pace as rental prices, which has created a gap in the affordable market,” Condas said. “Specifically near the Upper Post, there is not nearly enough supply to meet the demand.”
Plus, with the light rail nearby, residents will be easily connected to the airport, the Mall of America, the VA hospital and even downtown.