Riverfront Bluff

A rendering of the proposed Riverfront Bluff development, a five-story, 170-unit apartment building with a restaurant and retail space along First Avenue and the Minnesota River.

The city of Shakopee was awarded a $458,600 cleanup grant to help with the redevelopment of contaminated land and buildings at the Riverfront Bluffs development.

The Metropolitan Council grant will be used for abatement of the 1.9-acre site comprised of a mix of vacant residential and commercial buildings. The site near First Avenue and the Minnesota River was formerly home to a limestone quarry that was later filled with uncontrolled fill and debris, resulting in soil contamination, a news release from the city said.

The site will eventually be home to 170 market-rate apartments with 6,400 square feet of commercial space. The developer, Gaughan Companies, said earlier this year the retail space would be targeted as a fitness center that the community and residents can use.

The Met Council awarded a total of $3 million in cleanup grants for polluted sites and $500,000 in additional grants that promote redevelopment and economic opportunity in the region. There were a total of 12 projects that received grants. Minnetonka, New Brighton, Minneapolis and St. Paul also received grant funding.

“Now in its 25th year, the Livable Communities program has been critical in helping to lend public sector confidence in development projects and leverage other public and private investment,” said Met Council Chair Charlie Zelle. “By any measure, the program has been a success at facilitating and contributing to investment in economic opportunity.”

The grant is part of the Metropolitan Council’s Livable Communities program, a voluntary, incentive-based approach to helping communities invest in economic development and housing choices and promote connections between transportation options and land use.

In January, the city of Shakopee was awarded $332,732 in grant funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development for the project as part of a cleanup grant program designed to leverage private investment and create jobs.

The apartment complex, which is targeted toward young professionals and empty-nesters, has been in the works since the summer of 2018, when the Shakopee City Council passed a resolution approving a Tax Increment Financing plan for the River Bluff Development project.

The development process stalled due to the discovery of the uncontrolled fill and debris.

For this project, $2.8 million in property tax revenue would be used over the course of 25 years. The money would be used for soil remediation, demolition, utility relocation and improvements and removal of bedrock on 1.5 acres along Levee Drive, according to the city.

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