Western U Plaza formerly (Old Home Dairy) Background
Western U Plaza – Formerly The Minnesota Milk Company (Old Home Dairy) 300 – 378 University Avenue W. St. Paul, MN will be transformed into a mixed-use, transit oriented development (TOD) with 57 units of affordable housing (Low-income Housing Tax Credits – LICHTC), 8,000 square feet retail and community end-uses that both maximize the parcel’s potential and preserve historic uses. The project will provide housing and economic vitality while creating a “destination” place. The Old home Dairy site is a uniquely large parcel – 1.62 urban acres with University Avenue frontage.
The original Minnesota Milk Company building, constructed in 1912, still stands on the site and is considered a valuable gem in the Twin Cities. It is eligible for the National Register of Historic places. The two-story brick building was designed by Charles H. Berger and features a large cow emblem above the entrance flanked by milk bottles. In 1932, architect Charles Hausler (St Paul City commissioned architect then) updated the building in a sleek Art Deco design. The new design included a stepped entrance tower at the corner, at the top of which is a bas-relief sculpture of a young girl and boy – which the company’s advertising christened “Mistress Polly Plump” and Master Henry Husky” – embracing a large milk bottle (now removed and with the original previous owners). The building closed permanently in 2006 and has been vacant ever since.
The project will be home to an array of housing options affordable to a range of incomes. Unit mix will include, studio, 1, 2, 3 bedrooms to accommodate single workers and growing families. The project is a combination of new construction and rehabilitation with historic preservation project; this unique development is capitalizing on the exciting, modernizing changes happening in this challenged neighborhood, including the Green Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) and simultaneously preservation of the heritage of the Site and Avenue. It will transform the neighborhood, capitalize on the LRT, energize residents, and create a thriving community asset.
Construction Start – Fall 2014
Occupancy – Spring/Summer 2015
FUNDERS to date:
Equity 9% Housing Tax credits - MN Housing
Equity from state tax credits
Equity From federal tax credits
1st Mortgage MH (MHFA) / LMIR
Brown Field Assessment - City of St Paul
Livable Communities Transit Oriented Development grant (Metropolitan Council)
Local Implementation Capacity (LIC) - Grant - (Metropolitan Council)
TBRA - Metropolitan Council
Developer equity/Deferred Fees
Predevelopment funding has come from:
Combination of Twin Cities LISC and Corridors of Opportunity in the loan and grant monies -
Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation
Twin Cities Community Land Bank - $1.2 million - land banked site for ASANDC/us - we had a PA with them until - we paid them back in April
US Bank - Tax Credit Syndicator - has someone who will purchase the LIHTC and Federal tax credits –
Enhance Historic Credit Partners - will Purchase the State tax credits