The Ripley Gardens project is a housing complex that integrates the historical former Ripley Maternity Hospital, a home, cottage and bungalow with newly constructed housing units in the Harrison neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Located at the corner of Penn, Glenwood and Queen Avenues the project has provided 60 affordable housing units.
Ripley Gardens was the former Ripley Maternity Hospital built in 1896 by Dr. Martha Ripley who recognized the need to provide a hospital for women in childbirth. One of the few female doctors of the day she welcomed everyone regardless of financial means, marital status, age or ethnicity. The hospital operated until 1956 and was a nursing home until 2000.
The buildings contained lead and asbestos which required abatement.. During construction, mercury impacted incinerator ash was discovered in soil on the site.
Lead and asbestos was properly removed from site buildings and disposed of in an industrial landfill. Mercury impacted incinerator ash was discovered on-site during site development. The ash was removed under the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency approved Contingency Plan and was disposed in an industrial landfill. Several petroleum tanks and petroleum impacted soil were excavated and disposed.
The developer, Aeon and Architects LHB, designed the redevelopment of three existing buildings that were listed on the National and Local Registers of Historic places. In addition two new buildings were integrated into the site plan to provide additional affordable housing to the project. No institutional controls were needed at the site.
Economic benefits and awards
The Ripley Gardens project provides 60 affordable housing units including 52 rental units and 8 home ownership units. The project aligns with the Harrison Neighborhoods goals to improve the abandoned property and stabilize housing in the area. This project won the Award of Excellence for Sustainable Community Development from the Home Depot Foundation in Washington on December 9, 2009.
MPCA Brownfields Program staff
Patrice Jensen, VIC Project Manager Mark Koplitz, Petroleum Project Manager
John Betcher, VIC Project Hydrologist Bassou Oulgout, Petroleum Hydrologist
The project was a true collaboration. The funding for the project was raised by the combined funding from 23 sources. Together a total of over $14,498,432 was raised for the total project financing. Major contributions included:
MN Green Communities, Limited Partner Equity LIHTC, First Mortgage, City of Minneapolis, Historic Rehab Tax Credits (HTC), Pending HTC Adjustment, Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Hennepin County AHIF, Hennepin County ERF, MN Housing, Met Council-LCDA, Aeon Gap Loan, NRP Program, Federal Historic Save America’s Treasures Grant, Foundation/other, General Partner Deferred Developer Fee, Investment Account Interest, Family Housing Fund, Historical Preservation Grants, Private Donations, Hennepin County Lead Grant, CPED-Non-profit Admin. and Hennepin County TOD.