Lessons from a Commercial Community Land Trust Pilot

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Lessons from a Commercial Community Land Trust Pilot

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Rondo Community Land Trust (CLT) has been providing affordable homeownership in Ramsey County, Minnesota using a ground-lease community land trust model since 1993. Rondo CLT began planning what is now known as the Selby-Milton-Victoria (SMV) project in 2009, and the development was ongoing at the time this report was published. The SMV project includes two sites along central Selby Avenue in St. Paul, one on Selby and Milton Avenues and one on Selby and Victoria Avenues. The building on each of these sites will be a mixed-use new construction project with affordable commercial space on the ground floor and affordable senior rental above. Providing affordable commercial space in a community can create jobs, increase wealth, and build the capacity of a community. Rondo CLT recognized a need for this in its community, which led to the pursuit of an affordable commercial development. This report is intended to provide insight for nonprofit organizations on the opportunities and challenges of developing affordable commercial space. Policymakers, governmental staff, funders, and community organizations interested in supporting the development of affordable commercial space will also find this report useful. After providing context and background information on the SMV project, this report will outline the “key questions” surrounding the implementation of a commercial community land trust model. This report will also summarize the lessons learned by Rondo CLT from the SMV project to date.

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Conducted on behalf of District 6 Planning Council. Supported by the Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program, a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.

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