The Frogtown/Rondo Action Network , part of the Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASANDC), expects to begin construction on the one-square-block site located at University and Western in August. The site used to house an Old Home Dairy warehouse, but will soon have 57 units of affordable housing, with about six of those set aside for the chronically homeless, as well as commercial development.
“We’re looking at how we can incorporate housing and business development in a new way and probably in a more innovative way, so, not the usual way you do business,” said Nieeta Presley, executive director of ASANDC. “We’re working hard at creating innovative opportunities based on ethnic and cultural assets and we’re hoping that’s gonna create new opportunities and energy for people of color, people of this community.”
Although Frogtown/Rondo Action Network received most of the tax credits needed for the housing project in October, they are still in the process of signing the paperwork necessary to get those allocations. They are also waiting on historic assessment of the old property, which will be mostly preserved. They expect to start demolition in the coming weeks, with actual construction of new buildings beginning in August.
ASANDC, in partnership with the Model Cities Community Development Corporation, has already created sixteen new or rehabilitated housing projects geared towards increasing homeownership for African-Americans who, according to ASANDC Executive Director Nieeta Presley, continue to be the demographic least likely to own homes. The upcoming development on Western and University will be unique because it will not be limited to housing – there will also be a commercial component to it.
This is one of a number of articles produced by students at Macalester as part of a New Media class.