PRESS RELEASE: BROWNstone Groundbreaking

BROWNstone Press Release


Craig Johnson, Project Manager 651-632-8354
Kia Yang, Groundbreaking Ceremony Coordinator 651-632-8341


St. Paul, Minnesota (May 26, 2016) – Model Cities will hold a ceremony to commemorate the groundbreaking of its new BROWNstone redevelopment project on Wednesday, June 1, 2016.

What: BROWNstone Groundbreaking Ceremony

When: Wednesday, June 1, 2016 11 am to 1pm

Where: Model Cities BROWNstone Parking Lot
849 University Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104
(Northeast corner of University Avenue and Victoria Street)

The Business Revitalization and Ownership for a Working Neighborhood (BROWNstone) is the future of a thriving sustainable community that embraces what the past has built.

“The BROWNstone represents the kind of development we imagined when we began planning for the Green Line a decade ago: affordable housing, commercial space for small businesses, innovative storm water management, pocket parks and public art,” said Mayor Chris Coleman. “Most importantly, it is rooted in the community and will anchor the continuing revitalization of the entire corridor.”

The new $14.76 million building will be a four-story, mixed-use development that will include 35 units of affordable workforce housing; approximately 20,000 square feet of retail, office and community space; and close to 7,000 square feet of outdoor space to be dedicated to a pocket park that will include green space. The building is adjacent to a Green Line light rail station. A grand opening is slated for late Summer 2017.

“With the BROWNstone development, Model Cities is joining other revitalization efforts now underway along this area of the Green Line to address critical affordable housing demand and economic development,” remarked Dr. Beverley Oliver Hawkins, Model Cities’ chief executive officer. “A special feature of this building is the use of public art to celebrate the role of African Americans in the rail system in the early 1900’s. This is a great way to engage the community in learning this important history and provide a forum for emerging artists.”

Flannery Construction and Booker Construction are the general contractors and Trossen Wright Plutowksi Architects, PA is the project architect.

Funders for the project include: Midwest Housing Equity Group, City of St. Paul, Anchor Bank, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Metropolitan Council, St. Paul Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Ramsey County, Capitol Region Watershed District, Twin Cities LISC, HHS Office of Community Services, Knight Foundation, Mardag Foundation, Minnesota Housing Partnership, Twin Cities Community Land Bank and Otto Bremer Foundation.

About Model Cities of St. Paul For 49 years Model Cities has been helping individuals and families rebuild their lives. The core of Model Cities work and mission is to strengthen and revitalize communities. Approximately 1,300 people are served each year by Model Cities programs and services. Most of the families receiving social services, mental health, and crisis intervention services are from low-income or poverty-level households supported by income maintenance programs. Model Cities has developed single and multi-family residential and commercial real estate projects since 1986.

Rendering of Model Cities BROWNstone, Trossen Wright Plutowski Architects

Model Cities of St. Paul | 1821 University Avenue | Suite N-461 | St. Paul, MN 55104 T: 651-632-8350 | F: 651-293-1928 | |