City Center Apartments

115 South Minnesota Street, New Ulm, Minnesota
Nominated by: City of New Ulm

In New Ulm there is a demonstrated need for extended housing options, especially for seniors who are no longer interested or able to complete routine home maintenance. To increase senior housing stock for New Ulm, the redevelopment of several adjacent unused brownfield lots on the periphery of downtown into City Center Apartments is seen as a beneficial upgrade. The close proximity of the apartments to downtown is expected to promote a healthy lifestyle for future residents, as well as increase the amount of business among the restaurants and shops in downtown New Ulm. By providing alternative housing, New Ulm also anticipates more houses going on the market to draw younger families into the area, thus maintaining or increasing population and the tax base.

The City Center Apartments now sit on the site of a former dry cleaning facility, creamery, and a storage center. To redevelop the site, contaminated soil and debris needed to be excavated and replaced with clean fill, or otherwise buffered through the use of pavement and landscaping. Extended utility corridors also needed to be set, which were carefully packed in clean fill or unregulated fill soil. The costs of these remediation efforts ended up being more severe than expected. To overcome this, the City implemented a tax increment financing (TIF) hazardous substance sub-district and applied for further grants to meet these costs.

In addition to the redevelopment of a brownfield location, the City Center Apartments have also tried to provide more environmentally and economically friendly features into the apartments themselves. Some units have been outfitted with a single unit washer/dryer to save on electricity and water, and all of the units have LED lighting and energy star appliances. These features, by reducing the carbon footprint of residents and lowering the long-term costs of residing in the apartments, contribute to the realization of the City’s goals for this project of revitalizing the neighborhood in an environmentally and economically conscious way.

 

Project Financing:

  • $227,854- Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Contamination Cleanup and Investigation Grant Program
  • $166,421- City of New Ulm

Project Partners:

  • City of New Ulm
  • Minnesota Strasse LLC
  • Wilcon Construction
  • Braun Intertec