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Metropolitan Council charts $2.5 billion in development near light-rail line

Twin Cities real estate developers have announced at least $2.5 billion worth of new construction and redevelopment projects within a half mile of Metro Transit's Green Line since engineering work began five years ago, Metropolitan Council officials announced yesterday.

Also known as the Central Corridor Light-Rail Transit project, the Green Line — which will begin service June 14 — has been attracting residential and commercial development near the University of Minnesota, along University Avenue, and in both downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis, council officials said.

"The development we’ve seen so far only marks the beginning of new opportunities in the Central Corridor," said Metropolitan Council Chair Sue Haigh. "For decades to come, the Green Line will be a catalyst for employment and economic growth along its 11-mile route."

Council officials are tracking 121 projects that have announced total-investment figures, or have filed building permits, to reach the $2.5 billion figure. Of those 121 projects, 43 haven’t yet announced or made public an investment figure, meaning that the $2.5 billion figure is expected to climb in coming months, they said.

The 121 projects identified along the corridor include buildings already constructed, projects under way and those in the planning phase. The council's calculations do not include some of the larger projects along the line that received public funding, such as the Minnesota Vikings' new stadium, TCF Bank Stadium and Target Field. The total does include the $243 million renovation of the Union Depot in St. Paul, which is the Green Line's eastern terminus.

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More News from 5/15/2014