The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Dominium, a Plymouth-based affordable housing development and management company, have officially moved forward to convert Fort Snelling’s Upper Post barracks into much-needed affordable housing targeted to military veterans. A ceremony to sign the agreement between Dominium and the DNR was held on November 21, 2018 at the Upper Post. Signatories, state and local government officials, and the many partners who worked tirelessly to bring the redevelopment effort to life, attended the ceremony.
Dominium, a longtime Winthrop & Weinstine client, is the developer for the $98 million affordable housing project at the Upper Post. The Minnesota legislature approved $58 million in housing revenue bonds during its 2018 session for the project, which will be used to help fund the conversion of 26 historic Upper Post buildings into 176 affordable housing units. The units will be available to households with income at or below 60 percent of the area median income — with priority given to veterans and their families. The units are expected to open in 2021 and be named the Upper Post Flats.
Dominium was chosen by the DNR in 2015 to redevelop the site, which set in motion efforts to secure funding for the redevelopment effort. The Winthrop & Weinstine team provided counsel to Dominium throughout the process, worked to structure the deal and secured funds to finance the project. A variety of sources will be used to fund redevelopment — Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, tax-exempt bonds, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, and others. Winthrop & Weinstine also made a key contribution by working with Dominium and others to ultimately win bipartisan support in the Minnesota legislature for the bonding bill.
The next phase will be designing the Upper Post Flats and gaining approval from the Minnesota State Historic Preservation office. The Upper Post is historically significant as part of the Fort Snelling military based established in 1819. In 1966, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.