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Grant will help with senior project

It’s been a slow couple years for downtown development in Rosemount. When construction season starts, though, that will change. Several projects including two senior housing facilities are in the works for the downtown area.

Last week the city received a $942,000 Livable Communities grant to help with expenses related to one of those projects. The Dakota County Community Development Agency plans to build a 60-unit independent living facility on a portion of the former Genz-Ryan property along Highway 3.

Community development director Kim Linquist said a majority of the grant money will pay for the acquisition of four properties on Cameo Avenue. Houses on those properties will be demolished to make way for the facility.

The grant funds also will help pay for sidewalks, sewer line replacement and storm water management on the site. According to the Met Council, the purpose of the grant money is to help expand economic development opportunities, intensify and integrate land uses around transit, promote housing affordability and prompt other public and private investment.

Originally the city had marketed the Genz-Ryan site as a commercial or retail property. However, Lindquist said the senior housing project is a good fit because it’s something the community needs and will create demand for services in the area.

The hope, Lindquist said, is that the development will drive more improvements in the downtown area. Lindquist said she thinks the senior living facility will make the other portion of the Genz-Ryan site more marketable. Additionally, she hopes the new construction will spur investment into existing properties.

“It brings in a project we need and it makes the rest of the downtown more attractive,” said Lindquist.

Planning is also in the works for a second senior living facility just up Highway 3, next to the Steeple Center. Stonebridge Companies plans to build a 90-unit assisted-living facility that will offer memory care. The project will also include a public activity center for seniors.

Lindquist said the company hopes to bring plans to the planning commission in February. Construction could begin this spring or early summer.

The city started redevelopment planning in 2003. As part of those efforts several projects have been built. In 2009, Waterford Commons opened on property known as Core Block East. The Robert Trail Library opened in 2009. Most recently the city partnered with the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority to build a park and ride facility on 145th Street West.

By and large, though, when the economy slowed, so did the revitalization efforts. Lindquist said after a handful of slow years, it’s exciting to have new construction in downtown Rosemount.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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