University Avenue District
A private/public partnership, University Avenue District Partnership has created an innovative vision for housing development around the Prospect Park Light Rail Transit station that demonstrates the social, cultural and economic benefits of a district development approach.
Formed in 2013, the Partnership launched a 5-year work plan to incorporate an equitable economic model of innovation, urban growth, healthy living, and resiliency into the Prospect Park community. As part of that plan, the Partnership leverages its resources to inspire development that would not happen without intentional and coordinated private/public intervention.
Located on the border of Minneapolis and St Paul, the centrally-located University Avenue District offers residents appealing amenities, including easy-to-access transportation, an historically-engaged neighborhood, and a large pool of underdeveloped property that are ready for redevelopment.
The University Avenue District Partnership is chaired by Sarah Harris, University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors.
Fulfilling the vision of the District is funded and staffed largely by the University Avenue District Partnership, which includes Aeon, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, City of Minneapolis, City of Saint Paul, The Cornerstone Group, Family Housing Fund, GREATERMSP, Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA), Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Prospect Park 2020, Prospect Park Properties, Trust for Public Land, Twin Cities Community Land Bank, United Properties, University of Minnesota College of Design, University of Minnesota Foundation Real Estate Advisors, University Enterprise Laboratories (UEL), Wall Companies, and Xcel Energy.
In 2013-2015, the Family Housing Fund provided $30,000 to support the Partnership; additionally, the Family Housing Fund supports Prospect Park 2020, the visionary neighborhood organization that represents the community voice in the Partnership. In 2014, FHFund engaged the Smitten Group to complete three reports: a preliminary infrastructure investment cost analysis, a Phase I environment evaluation, and a matrix of possible funding sources. These tools enabled the Partnership to move quickly to acquire land and move forward with district vision planning. Partners also approved a mixed-use development plan for the University Avenue District.
Photo by Emily Seddon