Wednesday, May 8, 2013
City leaders are upset about potential loss of tax base and redevelopment opportunities.
Hopkins leaders are mounting an effort to keep out the Southwest Light Rail Transit operation and maintenance facility that will service trains along the corridor. On Wednesday, the Hopkins Business and Civic Association (HBCA) board sent out an e-mail reminding members about a public meeting on the controversial facility and encouraging them to attend. And last month, Mayor Gene Maxwell sent the Southwest LRT project office a letter criticizing the way the sites were selected. “Hopkins is very interested in making this project a success, but fairness to our residents, property owners, and disadvantaged populations must be part of the discussion,” Maxwell wrote. Click the PDF to the right of this article to read the full letter and see the…
Friday, May 3, 2013
Hopkins officials worry that a maintenance facility could take away from the tax base and eliminate development opportunities.
Hopkins accounts for nearly half the sites on a short list of possible locations for a Southwest Light Rail Transit operation and maintenance facility that will service trains along the corridor, according to a list the Metropolitan Council released to Patch on Thursday. The project’s draft environmental impact statement identified just six possible sites where the facility could be located—five sites in Eden Prairie and one in Minneapolis. However, planners decided that the start of preliminary engineering was a good time to take a look at more sites and they eventually identified 18 sites. The latest list narrows the candidates to nine sites. Those sites are: The maintenance facility is the site where light rail vehicles will be cleaned…
Monday, April 8, 2013
HousingLink data highlights how uneven affordable housing availability can be.
Paying for rental housing is no easy proposition in Minnesota. Last month, the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual Out of Reach report ranked the state worst in the Midwest and 24th nationally. A breakdown of the report by the Minnesota Housing Partnership estimated that 54 percent of renters can’t afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. But apartments can have a hard time winning neighbors over even when they don’t specifically serve low-income renters—as recent debates have shown. In St. Louis Park, some residents criticized the proposed Eliot Park Apartments development that would build two new apartment buildings with a total of 138 units on Cedar Lake Road. Said Patch reader MMG: All of a sudden, all I am seeing in this city…
Thursday, January 10, 2013
The money will be used for cleanup at the old Lutheran Digest building.
The Gallery Flats project at the former Lutheran Digest building is one of 14 redevelopment projects to receive a piece of nearly $2.4 million in Livable Communities brownfield investigation and cleanup grants, the Metropolitan Council announced Wednesday. The Met Council approved $15,000 for the Gallery Flats project to help with soil remediation and asbestos abatement at the old Lutheran Digest site at 31 Ninth Ave. S. Developer Klodt Cos. plans a mixed-use project on the property and the neighboring Park Nicollet site that will have a total of 163 apartments. The Met Council awards about $5 million a year in brownfield cleanup money, which is only available to the more than 90 metro-area communities that participate in the council’s …
Monday, December 3, 2012
A study commissioned by the Itasca Project examined the return on investment for fully funding the regional transportation plan—which includes roads, buses and two more light rail lines by 2030.
A study commissioned by a group of Twin Cities business leaders estimates that the region could more than double the return on its investment by fully funding the Metropolitan Council’s transportation plan—which includes road and bus upgrades and the addition of two more light rail lines by 2030. “The Regional Transit Project Return on Investment Assessment” was commissioned by the Itasca Project—a group of more than 50 people that is made up mainly of private sector CEOs, with a small number of public and nonprofit leaders. Cambridge Systematics, the Massachusetts-based firm that did the analysis, estimates that implementing the Met Council’s plan would generate between $6.6 billion and $10.1 billion in direct benefits between 2030 and …
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The city added 110 people over the year.
Hopkins grew slightly less than the metro area as a whole from 2010 to 2011, according to Metropolitan Council data released Monday. The community added 110 people from 2010 to 2011—.63 percent growth that brought the city’s population to 17,701. That growth is a notch slower than the .84 percent in the seven-county metro area and Hennepin County’s .92 percent growth. Minneapolis led the metro in population increases, which Met Council Demographer Todd Graham attributed to new multi-family housing. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul, which had the second-most growth, had increased apartment occupancy rates. Together, the two cities accounted for 29 percent of the metro’s growth. “I’m pleased to see growth occurring primarily where there’s …
Monday, July 2, 2012
The Edina, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis Regional, St. Paul Area and TwinWest chambers have all endorsed the proposal.
Monday, July 2, 2012
Editor’s Note: The state’s five largest released the following statement Monday after endorsing the Metropolitan Council’s request for up to $14 million for Southwest Light Rail Transit from the Department of Employment and Economic Development. The Edina, Eden Prairie, Minneapolis Regional, St. Paul Area and TwinWest chambers have all endorsed the proposal. Click on the PDFs to the right to read the resolutions of support, the cover letter for the application packet, the application and the Federal Transit Administration’s approval for preliminary engineering. Minneapolis/Saint Paul/Plymouth/Eden Prairie/Edina, MN — Minnesota’s five largest local Chambers of Commerce endorsed Metropolitan Council’s application today to the state’s $47…
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Met Council is currently applying for $47.5 million in state funding for Southwest Light Rail.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Editor's Note: The following is a letter written and signed by the mayors of Edina, Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Minneapolis and St. Louis Park. The letter was sent to Mark Phillips, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Dear Commissioner Phillips: As the Mayors of six cities in the western metropolitan area, we write today regarding the $47.5 million Business Development Through Capital Project Grants Program to be administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development. We understand that the Metropolitan Council is applying for a grant for Southwest Light Rail Transit (SW LRT) from this program. We strongly support that request. SW LRT will benefit each of our cities. The …
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Patch sat down with City Engineer John Bradford to better understand the process that led to the controversial project.
The decision to put a lift station in Oakes Park sparked swift criticism from neighbors who both disagreed with the decision to put sewer infrastructure in a park and felt they’d been left out of the planning process. Hopkins Patch sat down with City Engineer John Bradford to better understand the process Hopkins and the Metropolitan Council used and why they made the decisions they did. That process is specific to the lift station in its details. But in its broad brushstrokes, it echoes the steps for any project undertaken in the city. Whenever a community undertakes a major project, it will face many of the same challenges. “The idea is how do we best use public money, how do we get the infrastructure the city needs—and you can’t make …
Thursday, May 31, 2012
At a Wednesday community meeting, residents said they haven't had sufficient opportunity for input.
(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article gave an incorrect location for the current lift station. The existing lift station is across the street from Cottageville Park on the northwest corner of Blake Road and Lake Street.) Oakes Park neighbors are still speaking out against the city’s decision to allow a lift station in the park even as the Metropolitan Council proceeds with its planning process. The Met Council hosted a meeting Wednesday that was intended to offer residents a chance to learn about the project and discuss the design. But several residents still wanted to address the city’s decision to locate the new lift station there in the first place. Echoing concerns voiced at a March 23 City Council meeting, residents …