The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced $47.5 million in competitive business development grants that will fund nine economic development projects statewide. These targeted investments will put an estimated 2,000 Minnesotans to work on projects of regional and statewide significance.
The grant winners were chosen from 90 applications, with requests totaling $288 million. The agency reviewed applications based on five criteria, including: project readiness, job creation, investment and leverage, regional impact, and public benefit. Projects were organized into three regions to achieve geographic balance, including: metro, north, and south.
Governor Dayton, his senior staff, and staff from the Department of Management and Budget reviewed DEED's decisions. Only one project not recommended by DEED was funded: the Southwest Corridor Light Rail Line. It was decided that a more accurate analysis of the project's job impact should be the total number of jobs, which would be created by the overall project, not just by this small component part.
A complete list of grant recipients and project impacts is below. A list of all applicants and grant requests is available on the DEED website.
Minnesota Business Development Capital Projects Grant Program Recommendations
Southern Minnesota Recommendations
Litchfield, MN - First District Association (224 Jobs)
First District Association is a cheese producer in Litchfield, purchasing milk from farmers in 36 Minnesota counties and surrounding states. To continue expanding and adding jobs, First District Association needs to work with the City of Litchfield to relocate sanitary sewer lines on its expansion site. The project will create 59 construction jobs, 30 full-time equivalent jobs, retain 135 jobs, and leverage approximately $100 million in private investment. The total project cost for public infrastructure is $5,100,000 and the total award from DEED is $2,300,000.
Hector, MN - Triple J Farms (200 Jobs)
Triple J Farms is a kosher and halal beef processor in Buffalo Lake, which wants to expand but cannot in Buffalo Lake due to waste water capacity issues. The business and Buffalo Lake are teaming up with the City of Hector, six miles to the West, to expand Hector's treatment plant to accommodate Triple J Farms' capacity as well as those of the two cities. The project will create four construction jobs, 120 full-time equivalent jobs, retain 80 jobs, and leverage at least $1,250,000 in private funds. Private investment at Triple J Farms is expected to be in the range of $10 million. The total cost of the infrastructure for the project is $2,500,000 and the total award from DEED is $1,100,000.
Lonsdale, MN - Midwest Cryogenic (73 jobs)
The City of Lonsdale is equipping a new 16-site business park with sewer and water, which will initially be the new home of Midwest Cryogenics, a local business that cannot expand at its current location in town and intends to build an 18,000 square foot facility. The project, in partnership with Steele Waseca Electric Cooperative, will create 53 construction jobs, up to 20 permanent jobs and leverage $2,121,800 in private investment. The total project cost is $4,334,400 and the award from DEED is $1,500,000.
Redwood and Renville County, MN - Renville Regional Solid Waste Board (44 jobs)
Redwood and Renville Counties requested funds to construct and provide infrastructure for a joint material recovery facility to improve collection, processing, and marketing of recyclables. The project will create approximately 20 construction jobs, eight full-time equivalent jobs (public sector), and retain 16 jobs. The total project cost is $4,512,100 and the total DEED award is $1,898,750.
Hutchinson, MN - Ashwill Industries (50 jobs)
The City of Hutchinson is constructing a regional entrepreneurship business incubator which will include anchor tenant Ashwill Industries, specializing in prototyping, water jet cutting, and custom fabrication. Ashwill will more than double in size, adding employees and branching into development of agricultural test equipment and products made of food-grade stainless steel. The project will create 35 construction jobs, 15 permanent jobs and expand local tax base by about $1,562,500. The total project cost is $2,181,700 and the award from DEED is $763,750.
Northern Minnesota Grant Recommendations
Duluth, MN - Infrastructure to Enable Business Expansion (900 jobs)
The City of Duluth and a private corporation partner are collaborating on a downtown corporate tower that will created hundreds of jobs. Demolition of an old office building, and construction of new parking facilities and a skywalk, will set the stage for construction of a new 15 story office tower that will represent an $80 million total investment. The project will create up to 300 construction jobs, over 200 new full-time equivalent jobs and retain over 400 jobs, and leverage $60 million in private investment. The name of the primary corporate partner will be announced on Friday in Duluth. The total project cost for public infrastructure is $20 million and the total award from DEED is $8,500,000.
Wadena, MN - Wellness Center (110 jobs)
The City of Wadena requested funds to design, construct and furnish a 50,000 SF public health and wellness facility to replace facilities destroyed in the June 2010 tornado. The project will create approximately 100 construction jobs and ten new full-time equivalent jobs. The total project cost is $10,000,000 and the total DEED award would be $4,200,000.
Metro Minnesota Grant Recommendations
Saint Paul, MN - Saints Stadium (248+ jobs)
The City of St. Paul requested funds to replace a vacant and polluted industrial site in St. Paul's Lowertown with a new 7,000 seat ballpark serving state and regional needs for youth, amateur, and St. Paul Saints baseball. The project will create 225 construction jobs, 23 full-time equivalent jobs, hundreds of seasonal positions, and produce $10 million in direct economic activity each year. The land swap with the St. Paul Port Authority will also generate new industrial space in Energy Park. The total project cost is $54,000,000 and the total DEED award is $25,000,000.
Metropolitan Council - Southwest Corridor (150 jobs)
The Metropolitan Council requested funds to continue design and engineering of the Southwest Light Rail Transit project extending the Central Corridor LRT line 15 miles with 17 new stations from downtown Minneapolis to the southwest suburbs of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. This will serve 30,000 riders per day and provide improved transit access to the 60,000 additional jobs to be created in the southwest corridor by 2030. The project will create 150 immediate design and engineering jobs. The construction phase will generate over 3,500 construction jobs and ultimately 175 permanent jobs to operate and maintain the LRT line. The Southwest LRT project will generate numerous private residential and commercial investments. Additionally, this $2,000,000 DEED grant award will leverage nine times more funding from the Counties Transit Improvement Board, Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and ultimately the Federal Transit Administration.