Green Line attracts $2.5 billion in developments, Met Council says

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Investment in projects along the 11-mile Green Line light rail route has topped $2.5 billion in the past five years, the Metropolitan Council announced in a news release Wednesday.

Over 121 projects are completed, under construction or planned within a half-mile of the new light rail line, which has 18 stops between Minneapolis and St. Paul. The project, which cost more than $950 million, was funded by a combination of federal, state and local sources, Met Council says. Service on the Green Line will begin June 14.

“The development we’ve seen so far only marks the beginning of new opportunities in the Central Corridor,” Sue Haigh, chair of the Met Council said in the release. “For decades to come, the Green Line will be a catalyst for employment and economic growth along its 11-mile route.”

The $2.5 billion only includes projects that have announced total-investment figures or have filed building permits. Of the 121 projects, the cost of 43 of them hasn't been announced, so the $2.5 billion figure is expected to rise, Met Council says.

Initial investments for projects along the Green Line totaled just over $1.7 billion, the Pioneer Press says.

The Met Council released a map (below – click to enlarge) of the projects currently planned (marked in purple) along the Green Line as of this month:

The new development projects include residential and commercial buildings that have already been constructed, are underway or in the planning phase. The Met Council notes that the investment total doesn't include public-funded projects like the new Viking's stadium, TCF Bank stadium and Target Field.

Met Council officials add that several other projects are also being planned within a mile of light rail stations, which aren't factored into current investment totals.

MPR News and the Pioneer Press note that the $400 million Downtown East project, which broke ground in Minneapolis Tuesday, is the among the most costly developments along the Green Line.

Here's a look at some other big-ticket projects:

– $243 million: Union Depot renovation in St. Paul.

– $46.7 million: Pioneer-Endicott, a St. Paul apartment renovation project.

– $45 million: Episcopal Homes, a St. Paul campus expansion.

– $30 million: Stadium Village Flats, housing and retail in Minneapolis.

– $16 million: C&E Lofts, redeveloped warehouse into housing in St. Paul.

The construction of the Blue Line in the Hiawatha corridor was expected to cause a development boom, but a new study says the light rail has had little effect on the land use near the train stations, according to the Star Tribune.

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