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Eagan Awarded $750,000 Grant for Parking Ramp at Outlet Mall Site

The grant is part of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development's Redevelopment Grant Program—which assists cities in the clean up of blighted sites.

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Funding for the construction of a multi-level parking ramp at the Cedar Grove outlet mall site took a big step forward last week.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced on Wednesday that it had awarded the Eagan Economic Development $750,000 through its Redevelopment Grant Program for the construction of an elevator tower in the proposed parking ramp.

The ramp, which comes with an estimated $19 million pricetag, is an integral component of a proposed, 400,000-square-foot outlet mall project in the Cedar Grove Redevelopment Area. If approved, the mall would be developed by Baltimore, Md.-based Paragon Outlets, and would bring as many as 100 outlet stores to the city.

While Paragon is footing the bill for much of the outlet mall development on the 35-acre site, the parking ramp is being funded through a public-private partnership between the developer, the city's Economic Development Authority and other entities. Paragon has pledged to provide $4.23 million to the construction of the ramp, while the lion's share of the ramp cost will be paid for using Tax-Increment Financing funds collected by the EDA.

The ramp maybe include as many as three levels and 1,400 to 1,600 parking stalls, according to information released by the city. The outlet mall project is expected to increase the city's tax base by as much as $2.8 million, and create 880 jobs, DEED wrote in a press release issued last week.

Eagan was one of four cities that received grants last week through the DEED's Redevelopment Grant Program. The program's goal is to help cities clean up blighted sites and promote redevelopment. Other cities receiving funding included Benson, Richfield and St. Paul.

The program helps cities, counties and other units of government pay for up to 50 percent of the cost of redeveloping blighted industrial, residential or commercial properties, according to DEED. The grants can be used to pay for land acquisition, demolition, infrastructure and other project-related improvements. Recipients must provide matching funds.

“These projects will create jobs and put blighted properties back on the tax rolls,” DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips wrote in a press release. “The Redevelopment Grant Program is part of a strategy that is helping to keep Minnesota’s economy on a healthy growth track.”

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