The final piece of the complicated funding puzzle for the Fort Snelling Upper Post redevelopment will be before the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority on Tuesday, October 20. Please reach out to the Hennepin County Commissioners to share your support for this project. (Do you live in Hennepin County? If so, we especially need your voice to be heard! Click here to find out how to contact your Commissioner directly.)
A little background:
The Fort Snelling Upper Post includes 26 structures – barracks, officers’ quarters, and administration buildings – that are planned to be rehabilitated and adapted into 200 units of affordable housing for veterans and their families. Other historic buildings on the site have already been successfully rehabilitated, including the Base Camp and Upper Post Veterans Community.
Fort Snelling is one of 25 National Historic Landmarks in Minnesota. The Fort Snelling Upper Post has been included on endangered places lists by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota (now Rethos). In 2016, the National Trust named Fort Snelling at Bdote a National Treasure. The Upper Post sits on 41 acres of land adjacent to the MSP airport, Historic Fort Snelling and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.
The Fort Snelling Upper Post area was transferred from the Federal government to the State Department of Natural Resources in 1971. Until very recently, the conditions of this transfer stipulated that the property could only be used for non-profit recreational purposes. While the historic buildings on the Upper Post have stood vacant and deteriorating for decades, Hennepin County has helped to secure and stabilize many of the structures through its Sentence to Serve program. The planned redevelopment by Dominium will be financed with a combination of housing bonds and Federal and state Historic Tax Credits.
Read more about the planned Upper Post Flats project on MPR News
Our ask to the Hennepin County Commission:
Please vote “yes” and support the final bond approval for the Upper Post at Fort Snelling redevelopment.
It is important to support our veterans who have served. Providing family affordable housing at the Upper Post will do that and be the first of its kind in Minnesota.
Large family affordable housing is sorely needed in Hennepin County and this will provide nearly 200 new homes.
It is important to save our history and Fort Snelling is arguably the most important historic asset in Minnesota that has not been saved.
This is a perfect example of a true public/private partnership between the State, DNR, County and Dominium. Voting yes will save the state and county tens of millions of dollars.
These buildings are falling down before our eyes, if we don’t act now they will soon be gone forever.
The Minnesota Historic Tax Credit is due to expire in June 2021. A Legislative extension of the Historic Tax Credit next year is far from certain. Without action now by the Hennepin County Commission, these buildings may never be saved and reused.
This redevelopment will not only provide affordable housing but will provide real economic development for the County and jobs for its residents.
The buildings at Fort Snelling have been contributed to the county’s property tax base. Approving the bonds to help finance this project will bring millions in real estate taxes to the county.
This is the last vote needed to ensure these buildings are saved—don’t let this slip away, we need action and we need it now, please vote yes to ensure these buildings are saved for future generations.
These buildings are meant to be housing and if we can preserve and save them while providing needed affordable housing it will help solve two major problems.
All Photos by Philip Prowse/National Trust for Historic Preservation