WASHINGTON – November 4, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Riverside Plaza, a historic housing development in Minneapolis, earned the prestigious 2013 National Trust/HUD Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation. This award recognizes efforts that advance the Nation’s historic preservation goals while providing affordable housing and economic development opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents. Read more about Riverside Plaza and this awards program.
The Cedar Riverside neighborhood near downtown Minneapolis has been a point of arrival for immigrants since the late 19th century. When the neighborhood declined after World War II, idealistic developers set out to turn 100 acres of low-density propertiesinto a diverse and futuristic community.Fueled by a major HUD initiative, Cedar Square West included 1,300 apartment units and some commercial space. Despite the projects early success, however, political, financial and other problems led to its gradual decline.
In 1988, a group of for?profit and nonprofit investors led by Sherman Associates bought the property and renamed it “Riverside Plaza.” Even though it was only 37 years old, the property’s historical and architectural importance earned it National Register status in 2010, opening the door to major renovation. Sherman Associates used federal and state historic tax credits to help fund a two?year, $65 million rehabilitation that upgraded all 1,300 residential units, making it one of the largest HUD?supported projects in the United States,and the largest affordable housing development in Minnesota.By extending the complex’s life, Riverside Plaza filled a critical need for affordable housing in the Twin Cities and set the bar for rehabilitating large?scale 1970s developments. Now Riverside Plaza is again a welcoming gateway for new immigrants, showcasing how preservation can transform not only neighborhoods, but lives as well.
“While each is unique, this year’s outstanding Honor Award winners all reflect the importance of protecting what is special and irreplaceable,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Whether it’s the spectacular restoration of an iconic public library in St. Louis or the transformation of a warehouse into housing for previously homeless residents in Detroit, this year’s Honor Award winners demonstrate how saving places bolsters local economies and creates jobs in communities across the country.”
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan added, “There’s something wonderful about producing homes working families can afford, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth while at the same time, remaining true to the historic character of a neighborhood. Riverside Plaza has been a fixture in its neighborhood for generations and with this thoughtful redevelopment, it will continue live on for many years to come.”
The award will be presented to Sherman Associates at the Richard H. Driehaus National Preservation Awards ceremony in Indianapolis on November 1, 2013.
Co-recipients are: AEGON USA Realty Advisors, LLC.; AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust; Blumentals/Architecture; City of Minneapolis; Commerce Bank; Family Housing Fund; Hennepin County; Hess, Roise and Company; HUD Minneapolis; Knutson Construction; Metropolitan Council; Minnesota Housing; Minnesota Historical Society; Oak Grove Capital; and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the
need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build
inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business.
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Contact: Brian Sullivan