New Housing Proposed for Downtown Saint Paul

Developer Aeon is waiting for St. Paul's Renaissance Box to be granted a historic certification by the federal government. Then, it will commence in gutting and transforming it into 70 affordable housing units.

The Renaissance Box project is aimed at offering affordable housing to people who have jobs at downtown Saint Paul restaurants, hospitals or other service. 56 units will be a mix of efficiency and one- and two-bedroom apartments targeted at buyers who make between $21,000 and $42,000. The remaining 14 units will be for people who earn between $10,000 and $17,000 and have been homeless.

Located at 509 Sibley Street in Saint Paul MN, the Renaissance Box was built in 1914 and used to house what was once one of the biggest footwear factories in Minnesota, the O'Donnell Shoe Co. Affordable housing developer Aeon, based in Minneapolis, bought the building out of a foreclosure situation in 2006.

Financing for the $16 million project is coming from a combination of state and city funds, foundation grants and private investors using federal tax credits. An additional allotment of tax credits through the federal stimulus program helped the project fill in gaps.

Construction is expected to begin early next year and wrap up in early 2011.

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