The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) recently announced more than $2 million in grants and loans will be awarded from the redevelopment grant and demolition loan program.

“These awards will generate more than $250 million in private investment and are expected to create 190 new jobs,” said Gov. Tim Walz. “These grants and loans allow developers to take previously unused sites and turn them into high-demand housing, employment and services developments.”

“Redevelopment is a costly and time consuming process,” said Steve Grove, DEED commissioner. “We want to make sure that communities across the state have access to this program. That’s why we’ll have an additional grant round – with nearly $4 million available – in the early part of 2020.”

The redevelopment program helps communities with the cost and of redeveloping blighted industrial, residential or commercial sites for planned projects. Grants pay up to half the redevelopment costs for a qualifying site, with a 50 percent local match required. The program statute has specific criteria to rank projects including the redevelopment potential within the municipality, the overall need and readiness of the proposed project, the increase in tax base for the community and the number of jobs that are created and retained.

Since its creation in 1998, the redevelopment grant program has awarded 182 grants totaling nearly $70 million in funds. These projects have reclaimed nearly 1,400 acres and created or retained more than 28,000 jobs.

The demolition loan program helps development officials with the costs of demolishing old blighted buildings on sites that have future development potential but where there are no current development plans. Low-interest loans can pay up to 100 percent of the demolition costs for a qualifying site and can be used for site acquisition costs.

Details of the most recent grant round are below:

• The City of Renville was awarded $49,435 in redevelopment grant funds for asbestos abatement, demolition and sidewalk replacement on a 1.3-acre site. This site will be redeveloped with an approximately 5,000 square foot county-owned clinic. It is anticipated this project will create four jobs and retain five jobs. Matching funds will be provided by the city.

• The City of Springfield was awarded $111,426 in demolition loan funds for the demolition of three grain elevators. This 0.37-acre site has the potential for commercial development. The city will issue a revenue bond to secure the loan. DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development.

For more details about the agency and its services visit the DEED Web site at mn.gov/deed.