Western U Plaza: How Community Engagement and Funder Alignment Are Creating Catalytic Transit Oriented Development
Affordable Housing Collaboration in Minnesota: Outcomes and Lessons Learned Series
Located at the intersection of University and Western Avenues, the Western U Plaza apartments now stand on the former Minnesota Milk Company (Old Home Foods) property. This report documents how aligning community vision, strategic acquisition and funding, and nonprofit-private partnership created 60 green, affordable housing units along St. Paul’s transit Green Line.
Financial and technical support from Twin Cities LISC, a predevelopment loan from Greater Minnesota Housing Corporation, and the initial investment by the Twin Cities Community Land Bank for site acquisition demonstrated that these organizations were committed to the project’s vision. The collaboration between a nonprofit organization – Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC) – and a private developer – Sand Companies – as a model for equitable transit-oriented development. It preserved a historic structure while adding new affordable multifamily housing units, commercial space, and community space.