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$10 million redevelopment project to house homeless vets planned at Fort Snelling

As a part of a recently announced federal plan, a handful of buildings at the Upper Post of Fort Snelling in Minneapolis will take on new life.

St. Paul’s CommonBond Communities is working with Sand Companies in St. Cloud on a $10.2 million project to redevelop the buildings into housing for homeless vets. 

It's one of 25 sites that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is reusing to create 3,000 units of permanent and transitional housing for veterans around the country, according to VA information.

Another 1,000 units could be announced by the VA in the coming weeks.

The Upper Post buildings, which have long stood vacant or served as storage space, will be turned into 58 apartments, including a mix of one-bedrooms, efficiencies, and three-bedroom units, according to Andew Michaelson, senior housing development manager for CommonBond.  

Buildings will be rehabbed according to historic guidelines, while a combination of historic and low-income tax credits will help fund the project, he says.

Further, all kinds of supportive services will be located on-site. “’[They will] address the needs of the population,” he says, adding that the aid is focused not just upon homelessness but “whatever else they’re going through.”   

In general, more needs to be done to eliminate homelessness among vets, he says.

He says that the project will also benefit the surrounding community by helping to preserve a significant landmark. “These buildings are in increasing states of deterioration. We want to prevent further deterioration.”  

The buildings have a lot of potential he says, and lately, there’s been “more interest in doing things on the campus with the resource of this existing stock of buildings.”

Although the project’s timeline depends on the condition of the buildings, he says that construction could start as early as the end of 2012.

Source: Andrew Michaelson, senior housing development manager, CommonBond Communities
Writer: Anna Pratt
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