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Friday, September 08, 2006

Mayor Coleman takes small steps in affordable housing

I'd like to see more of this kind of project. Link onto the title of this story for information on the the "Central Community Housing Trust".. It would also help the affordable housing crisis if the City would stop it's assault on private rental property investors who house a protected class of people.

Community celebrated new life of Crane Ordway warehouse
8/29/2006 2:43 PM

150 community members attended the opening.
Crane Ordway adds 70 units of affordable housing in downtown St. Paul

“Welcome to the St. Paul community, it’s about time,” said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman at the Aug 24 ceremony reopening the Crane Ordway warehouse on 5th and Wall streets in St. Paul.

“We’re glad CCHT chose Crane Ordway as its first development in St. Paul. Historic sites are hard to reclaim for housing. However, they’re an important part of the texture of our community. CCHT had the capacity to transform this landmark, and made it become alive again,” applauded Coleman.

The $11.7 million renovation of the historic Crane Ordway building, a 1904 plumbing supply warehouse,
Mosaic in the main lobby is inspired by the original design and assembled from the tiles found in one of the bathrooms.
will provide 70 units of affordable housing, including 14 units for formerly homeless individuals, in the Lowertown Historic District of St. Paul.

Units in the building, ranging from 450 to 650 square feet, are available for $390 to $610 a month for people meeting low-income requirements. Fourteen of the units are aimed at homeless people, who earn 30% or less of the area median income ($16,170 – $32,340). So far, 32 units are leased and another 15 are being processed.

In 1998, the St. Paul City Council saved Crane Ordway from demolition. The building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, had stood vacant for nearly 30 years until CCHT acquired it in 2003. Crane Ordway was designed by the same architectural firm that designed New York’s Grand Central Station and the St. Paul Hotel.

Mayor Chris Coleman, CCHT President Alan Arthur and Minnesota Housing Commissioner Tim Marx.
opening ceremony featured guided building tours and brief remarks from Mayor Chris Coleman, The Saint Paul Foundation president Carleen Rhodes, Tim Marx, Minnesota Housing commissioner, and CapitolRiver Council chairman Larry Englund.

Rhodes spoke about the importance of preserving historic treasures for future St. Paul residents and explained how exciting it was “to see the transformation of Crane Ordway from what it was a year ago.”

Englund called Crane Ordway a “jewel asset” of the neighborhood, and underscored “the many advantages to people living downtown.” He said Crane Ordway will “add to our community opportunities for neighborhood residents to interact and discuss things that are important to the city.”

Marx congratulated CCHT “on the job well done,” and dubbed Crane Ordway a testament to the successful efforts to end the homelessness in Minnesota.
Guided tours provided a preview of the remodeled units.

The redevelopment was funded by Minnesota Housing, City of St. Paul, National Park Service, and a number of private funders, including: Franklin Bank, Local Initiates Support Corporation, Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation, Fannie Mae, Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation, and National Equity Fund.

CCHT plans to convert another 70 units in the nearby Renaissance Box into affordable apartments next year.

Crane Ordway Building Tours are available! Sign up for a Building Dreams session on Sept 20 or Oct 18 and tour the building with CCHT staff. Sign up today!

Building Dreams is a free, one-hour session that provides an opportunity
Obsidian Gallery of South Minneapolis will showcase art by minority artists, especially formerly homeless individuals.
to learn about the Twin Cities' housing crisis and how CCHT's high-quality, long-term approach to housing helps address it.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just in time for political purposes! How convenient! Ok, now the city has decided to help house some of the people the city made homeless. Remember now the homeless usuaslly come with some sort of issues which might include legal issues, lets see how the city handles these situations. I would bet they will handle it differently than they have handled the ones with the private property owners.

Nancy (formerly of St.Paul)

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a start. I suppose in this case thats the END too.

2:40 PM  

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