Union housing trust invests in St. Paul development project

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust announced Dec. 19 it would commit $23.5 million toward constructing the West Side Flats Apartments, a $31 million mixed-use development on the edge of downtown St. Paul. The project is expected to generate 160 union construction jobs at a time when unemployment in the industry remains high.

The HIT is a nationwide initiative investing union pension funds in union construction projects.

The HIT’s investment in the West Side Flats Apartments will help build a five-story building with 178 market-rate and affordable housing units, heated underground parking and ground-floor retail and commercial space.

It marks the second HIT-financed development project afoot downtown St. Paul. Construction is ongoing at the site of the $62.5 million Penfield complex, which received $40.9 million in financing from the HIT.

All told the HIT has invested over $400 million in the St. Paul and Minneapolis metro area over the last 10 years, building or preserving over 4,200 units of housing in 32 projects and generating more than 3,800 jobs for members of the local building and construction trades unions.

“It’s good to see the HIT is investing union pension dollars back into our community for needed housing while, at the same time, creating good jobs for our members,” said Harry Melander, St. Paul Building Trades Council president.

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