MINNEAPOLIS, MN - The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) today announced a commitment of $15.7 million toward constructing the City Walk Apartments, a $20 million mixed-use development in Minneapolis's Uptown community. The project is expected to generate more than 100 union construction jobs at a time when the construction industry is still struggling to recover.
The HIT investment of union pension funds will help build a six-story building with 92 housing units, underground parking, and restaurant and retail space fronting a new public pedestrian plaza.
"The HIT is keeping our members busy with another investment in union-built housing in Minneapolis," said Dan McConnell, Business Manager for the Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council. "That means another quality apartment project for the city and family-supporting jobs for our members."
The City Walk site is in the heart of Uptown, a high-density commercial and residential district where there has been significant development over the past few years. City Walk Apartments will be located near another HIT-financed development, the $13 million Solhem apartments, completed in 2009.
"City Walk exemplifies the HIT's continuing commitment to bringing quality housing, good jobs, development, and needed commercial and retail services to Minneapolis's downtown neighborhoods," said Stephanie Wiggins, HIT's Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer.
Oak Grove Commercial Mortgage, LLC, is the project's mortgage banker. "The HIT has a long history of working with Oak Grove Commercial Mortgage to provide financing for a variety of housing projects in Minnesota, including City Walk Apartments," said HIT investment Officer Chris Shaw.
The HIT has invested over $380 million in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area over the last 10 years, building or preserving nearly 4,000 units of housing in 31 projects and generating more than 3,600 jobs for members of the local building and construction trades unions.
The City Walk investment is part of the HIT's national Construction Jobs Initiative, a program with a goal to create 15,000 union construction jobs over a three-year period. The initiative is a response to the AFL-CIO's call for job creation to put union members, especially the trades, back to work following the recession. To date, investments by the HIT and its subsidiary Building America CDE have leveraged more than $2.5 billion of development on 49 projects in 27 cities while generating more than 14,000 union construction jobs.
The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is a fixed-income investment company registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It manages over $4.5 billion in assets for more than 350 investors, which include union and public employee pension plans.