Old Ft. Snelling buildings turning into 190 affordable apartments

Some big parts of old Fort Snelling in Minneapolis are about to get some new life. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith unveiled new plans Wednesday that bring development and residents back to the historic grounds.

The property slated for development is the old Upper Post area, which includes 26 buildings that are vacant, vandalized and falling apart. Some of these buildings have been vacant since the 1950s, but Fort Snelling park manager Larry Peterson wants to change that.

At Wednesday’s formal announcement, Lt. Gov. Smith said the buildings will now be turned into 190 units of low-income housing. The rehab work should be done by 2018.

Lt. Gov Tina Smith announces selection of Plymouth-based Dominium to convert Ft. Snelling buildings into 190 homes. pic.twitter.com/4mNTtmJzLR

— Timothy Blotz (@TimBlotzFOX9) July 22, 2015

The developer, Dominium, based in Plymouth, Minn., has a lot of experience in turning around buildings. Dominium is the developer that converted St. Paul’s old Schmidt Brewery into apartments and gave the Seventh Street neighborhood new life. They’ve done the same thing to the old Pillsbury A mill along St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis.

Dominium is the same developer that rehabbed the old Schmidt brewery into low income apartment units. pic.twitter.com/Bc0a6MPGLe

— Timothy Blotz (@TimBlotzFOX9) July 22, 2015

“To see these reused in an appropriate way that preserves the history and allows the users to live in a wonderful place like this and use the state park that I’m a manager of, that’s a really good thing,” Peterson said.

Portions of the old Fort Snelling grounds are already under redevelopment. Common Bond has partnered with the VA to convert the old horse stables into apartments for homeless veterans. But this new project will create new low income apartments for the general public.

Because this land is owned by the state, negotiations now begin on a long-term lease of the buildings to the developer, Dominium. Once the lease is finalized, construction would begin and take about 18 months.

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