One of the state's largest subsidized housing complexes is getting a makeover.
The Minneapolis City Council on Friday approved bond sales totaling $80 million to rehabilitate the more than 1,300 apartments in Riverside Plaza in the city's West Bank neighborhood.
The Riverside Plaza complex in Minneapolis' West Bank neighborhood is home to thousands of Somali residents, many living in subsidized housing.
The decades old concrete high rise buildings -- easily recognizable from I-94 with their colorful panels -- will get new heating and cooling systems and other improvements.
Minneapolis Mayor R. T. Rybak says he expects additional neighborhood development when the nearby Central Corridor light rail line is completed.
"This Riverside Plaza will also become part of a much more expanded neighborhood that'll be woven back together with Augsburg, the University and downtown," he said.
Rybak says the improvements are long overdue.
"Dramatically upgrading the energy systems to make them more efficient and effective, the elevators, some of the common areas, but also the security improvements like lighting the sidewalks and signage and using some of the safe zone strategies we've used to make downtown safer," he said.
Construction begins in January and is expected to take two years.
The city's agreement with complex owner George Sherman includes hiring up to 90 residents of the neighborhood for the work. Riverside Plaza houses one of the largest Somali populations in the country.