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DNR signs $100M deal to create affordable housing at Fort Snelling

Some 176 units will be built in the historic buildings at Fort Snelling.

Some of the historic buildings at Fort Snelling will be transformed into affordable housing over the next three years.

That's after a deal was signed between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and housing developer Dominion on Wednesday.

The deal will see Dominion create 176 affordable housing units across the 26 buildings at the Fort Snelling Upper Post, near the golf course and Historic Fort Snelling.

The 1-5 bedroom apartments are expected to be ready by 2021, with preference given to veterans and their families. Amenities in the community will include a pool, business center, fitness center and a playground.

The project transforming the buildings, which date back to the late 1800s, will cost $100 million and is being funded through a combination of income housing tax credits, federal and state historic tax credits, tax-exempt bonding and other sources, the DNR said.

DNR commissioner Tom Landwehr said the Upper Post was once "one of the most endangered historic sites in the nation," but the project will preserve it for future generations.

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"The DNR is pleased to be working with Dominium on this redevelopment project, and we can hardly wait to see these beautiful old buildings occupied again after standing empty for so long.

"This is an outstanding example of a public-private partnership with important benefits for Minnesotans," said Gov. Mark Dayton in the news release. "It comes at a time when there is a great need for affordable housing."

Dominion, which has previously worked on the Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul and the Pillsbury A-Mill in Minneapolis, is expected to close on financing for the project by late summer or early fall 2019.

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