Met Council designates $677,000 to East Side brownfield cleanups

Two new prospective tenants are coming to the Hamm’s Brewery complex, thanks in part to brownfield cleanup grants from the Metropolitan Council. Additions to the building could include live-work apartments and a second hydroponic farm. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Funds will help with asbestos removal at Hamm’s site

As part of a nearly $2.6 million brownfield cleanup package, the Metropolitan Council approved three East Side projects for cleanup.

The cleanups will “help create jobs, clean up land for redevelopment, increase tax base and promote transit-oriented development and private investment in the region,” according to a statement from the Metropolitan Council.

The largest chunk of funding for an East Side project goes to two new prospective businesses at the old Hamm’s Brewery on Minnehaha Avenue, while other funds are set aside for the Mississippi Market development on East Seventh Street and a former Port Authority office building on the Beacon Bluff site.

A $385,000 sum will go to help clean out asbestos on a portion of the Hamm’s site, to make way for “live-work” apartments and a second hydroponic farm.

According to Sara Swenson, spokesperson from St. Paul’s Planning and Economic Development department, the city has license agreements with two companies that are looking to build in the complex -- they’d be in addition to the three existing companies at Hamm’s site, including 11 Wells Distillery, Flat Earth Brewery, and Urban Organics.

The companies, PAK Properties and Hamlot Urban Farm, are in early stages with the city -- formal plans are yet to emerge.

“In order for redevelopment to occur in the buildings, these two entities are exploring at the Hamm’s site, it was integral to obtain the Met Council funding to take care of asbestos abatement,” Swenson said in an email.

PAK properties will look to transform the original brewhouse at the Hamm’s site and several adjacent buildings into “industrial live-work apartments and office space.”

Hamlot Urban Farm, meanwhile, is considering installing a hydropnic farm in another building.

“It’s exciting to see all of the activity happening at the historic Hamm’s site on St. Paul’s East Side,” said Dave Gontarek, project manager for the city’s Planning and Economic Development Department, in a statement.

“All of the businesses are bringing creativity to the site, generating an excellent vibe and resurgence for the neighborhood.”

$200,000 was set aside for abatement at the former 3M headquarters known as “Building 21” -- the building was sold to Exeter Realty, and will be turned into an office building named “Phalen Park Office Center.”

The Met Council money will help with asbestos and lead paint abatement on the 5.4 acres that hold the building.

Another $92,000 was also allocated for the former Hospital Linens site, which looks to be the site of a new Mississippi Market along East Seventh Street. The funds will go to “assist with environmental investigation, soil remediation, and soil vapor mitigation” on one acre of the parcel.

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at Follow him on Twitter at @ESRPatrickLark.


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