By Gabriel Circiog –
Mayor R.T. Rybak and the city of Minneapolis are spearheading a project dubbed the Green Homes North Initiative. The plan, scheduled to start this summer, calls for the construction of 100 energy-efficient homes throughout North Minneapolis on city-owned vacant lots.
The Twin Cities Daily Planetreports public and private financing were secured in 2012 to start the Green Homes North project. The first phase calls for the construction of 13 green homes, and according to Rybak the groundbreaking will take place in early June. The city of Minneapolis utilized $300,000 in local funds to secure an additional $700,000 from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and the Family Housing Fund. An additional $1.25 million has been secured this year for the next phase of the development, which is scheduled to break ground in fall 2013.
Back in 2012, the mayor said: “We have built green homes with our partners in North Minneapolis, and they’ve been a huge success, so now we’re taking that experiment to scale. Green Homes North will provide another boost of confidence for the housing market, the building trades and the neighborhood.”
The green homes will be built to the Minnesota Green Communities Standards as developed by the state of Minnesota or certified as LEED for Home, with high-efficiency mechanical systems, Energy Star appliances and lighting, and durable exterior construction.
Four nonprofit developers – Artspace, the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corp., Project for Pride in Living and Powderhorn Residents Group – and two private entities – Mitchell Construction and Peyser L.L.C./Isenberg+Associates – have submitted 18 proposals to the city’s Department of Community Planning and Economic Development.
Average construction costs for each green home are expected to be around $220,000, and the average sale price is estimated to be approximately $175,000. More than one-third of the Green Home North homes planned for this spring and summer will be located in the Hawthorne Eco Village, which through its success served as the basis of inspiration.