The Saint Paul City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Board, approved the establishment of two tax increment financing (TIF) districts on June 23 at Highland Bridge, the 122-acre site of the former Ford Motor Company plant in Highland Park. The TIF districts will provide up to $46.9 million to help pay for three affordable housing projects at Highland Bridge.
Among the projects are the new workforce housing, senior housing and supportive housing that is being constructed by Project for Pride in Living (PPL) and CommonBond Communities and the senior housing that is being constructed by Presbyterian Homes.
Ward 3 City Council member Chris Tolbert, who chairs the HRA Board, said he is not always a fan of TIF. However, its use to help pay for new public infrastructure and affordable housing at Highland Bridge is something he supports.
“At Highland Bridge we have market-rate housing helping to pay for affordable housing,” Tolbert said. “This will help us meet what are pretty aggressive affordable housing goals for the Ford site.”
“At Highland Bridge we have market-rate housing helping to pay for affordable housing,” Tolbert said. “This will help us meet what are pretty aggressive affordable housing goals for the Ford site. We have the higher-priced homes along Mississippi River Boulevard, and we have workforce housing nearby.”
Highland Bridge will include about 3,800 new housing units, along with retail, office and institutional uses. Twenty percent of the housing, or 763 units, will be affordable housing. This includes a mix of townhouses, rental and owner-occupied apartments, and senior and workforce housing.
About one-fourth of the housing units will be affordable to households making 60 percent of the Twin Cities area’s annual median income (AMI), or $62,940 for a family of four. Another 190 rental units will be affordable to households making 50 percent AMI, or $52,540 for a family of four. Another 380 units will be affordable to households making 30 percent AMI, or $31,450 for a family of four.
PPL will construct two buildings, one for Emma Norton Services with 60 units affordable at 30 percent AMI and the second, named Nellie Francis Court, with 75 apartments affordable at 50 and 60 percent AMI.
The CommonBond TIF district, which includes a portion of the Presbyterian Homes project, will include 60 housing units for seniors making 30 percent of AMI.
TIF is used to subsidize development by diverting a portion of the property taxes that would otherwise go to the city, county and school district in future years. A total of $28.9 million in property taxes will be diverted from the PPL TIF district to help pay for a development with an estimated market value of $75.8 million. A total of $18 million in property taxes will be diverted from the CommonBond TIF district to help pay for a development with an estimated market value of $46.3 million.
Both TIF districts will be in place from 2024-49.
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