The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development awarded $2 million to redevelop nine sites in eight different cities, including a demolition grant throughout Minnesota.

One of the projects is in Fergus Falls, which is part of the Prairie Business cover area.

Redevelopment projects made possible through the grants are expected to create 74 new jobs and retain 48 jobs while providing more than 524 new housing units, according to the announcement by DEED, 148 of which will be affordable housing units.

“The redevelopment grant program is highly sought-after because it sparks private investment and creates new opportunities for industrial, commercial, and housing development,” DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said in a statement. “These grants will also create new jobs and increase the tax base for these communities.”

The Redevelopment Grant Program helps communities with the cost of redeveloping blighted industrial, residential or commercial sites. Grants pay up to half the redevelopment costs for a qualifying site, with a minimum 50% local match required.

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The program statute has specific criteria to rank projects including the redevelopment potential within the municipality, the overall need, readiness of the proposed project, the increase in tax base for the community, and the number of jobs created and retained.

Since its creation in 1998, the Redevelopment Grant Program has made 222 grant awards, which have helped fund projects that created or retained more than 29,000 jobs and generated nearly $51 million in tax revenue.

The city of Fergus Falls is awarded $130,000 in Redevelopment Grant funds for asbestos abatement, demolition, and public infrastructure improvements on the Red River Flour Mill, a 2.52-acre site.

Historically used as a flour mill, DEED said this site will be redeveloped into a five-story, 30-unit boutique hotel. The project is anticipated to create three jobs, increase the tax base by $88,952, and leverage $4.8 million of private investment. Matching funds will be provided by tax increment financing.