History: In 2015, the Economic Development Infrastructure Fund (EDIF) was formed and funded under the county’s Capital Improvement Program as a tool to help create and retain jobs, leverage private investment, and increase the tax base.
Under the EDIF Program, cities and development authorities in Hennepin County are eligible to apply for assistance to offset extraordinary costs and infrastructure upgrades associated with city-supported business expansion and new construction projects that create a minimum of ten new, permanent, full-time jobs paying at least $13.01 in hourly wages. Cities must demonstrate that all other sources, private and public, are insufficient for the project to move forward. Requests for funding are reviewed based on the following criteria:
- Job creation and/or retention
Need for financial assistance, including justification for use of county resources
Readiness to proceed
Tax base enhancement
Leverage from private or other public sources
Alignment with other county priorities and interests
The Robbinsdale Economic Development Authority has requested funding to assist with a $2.6 million redevelopment and business expansion project that will ultimately impact five businesses in Downtown Robbinsdale. The Downtown Robbinsdale Redevelopment project is being led by Travail Kitchen, which is an established company that operates two restaurants and a catering business, and provides a unique training and incubation program that has launched multiple chef/owners and restaurant concepts in the region. The project will directly impact 60 jobs (13 new, 47 retained) with wages of at least $14 per hour, with an additional 28 jobs in neighboring businesses indirectly impacted by the project.
This project involves the demolition of two existing single-story buildings and new construction of a two-story building that will provide space for multiple businesses to relocate, reconfigure, and expand. Travail’s two operating restaurants will move and expand, leaving a fully equipped restaurant space to facilitate expansion of a third restaurant and catering business under separate ownership. Demolition, excavation, shoring, soil solidification, new footings, foundation retrofits, a new sanitary sewer line, and electric utility relocation and new utility connections for multiple adjacent businesses qualify as eligible costs under EDIF’s guidelines.
The estimated market value of the site is estimated to increase by $1,098,000 (from $402,000 to approximately $1,500,000) as a result of the project.
The city’s financial consultant has confirmed a $500,000 gap between project costs and private equity and financing sources due to the extraordinary costs noted above. Staff recommends a $164,000 EDIF award (Economic Development Infrastructure Fund - CP 1002195) to the authority with the expectation that additional city and/or private financing would fill the remaining gap.
Current Request: Authorization to negotiate Agreement PR00000389 with the Robbinsdale Economic Development Authority for the Downtown Robbinsdale Redevelopment project during the period of May 23, 2018 through December 31, 2019 with a not to exceed amount of $164,000.
Impact/Outcomes: Downtown Robbinsdale Redevelopment project will facilitate a $2.6 million business expansion project, retain 47 jobs, create 13 new jobs, and increase the estimated market value by an estimated $1.098 million.