“When there’s high transient activity in a neighborhood people don’t own their community - they come and go without much commitment. The housing has to be stabilized, and then other things follow.”
~ Missy Thompson, Director of the Fannie Mae Minnesota Partnership Office

Improving the quality and increasing the availability of affordable housing is an integral component of the work of the Phillips Partnership. To guide planning and development of housing initiative projects, the Partners committed to achieving the following goals: increase home ownership opportunities; improve the quality of rental housing; provide resources for homeowner improvements; increase property values in the neighborhood; serve as a catalyst for other redevelopment efforts in the neighborhood; and serve as a demonstration model for inner city housing development.

Four projects reflecting a total investment of $30 million were selected as initial Phillips Partnership redevelopment opportunities:

Portland Place, the first major housing redevelopment initiative of the Phillips Partnership, was initiated by Honeywell to address the blocks immediately surrounding their headquarters’ campus with the goal of stabilizing the neighborhood by encouraging home ownership. Construction of the fifty-two new owner occupied homes began in September 1998 when four homes were constructed in twelve days with help from Habitat for Humanity. Construction of the Portland Place homes is now complete and the final five units sold closed in December of 2000. This initiative received statewide recognition when the overall design of the project was honored with the 2000 Design Award from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.

Ribbon Cutting
Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton joined Honeywell CEO Michael Bonsignore and other members of the Phillips Partnership to honor the completion of the Portland Place project.

The Joseph Selvaggio Initiative* (JSI) is the namesake project honoring a man whose devotion to community and people has inspired many. For years Joseph Selvaggio. has devoted himself to helping Phillips residents improve the housing and public spaces in the Phillips neighborhood. The Phillips Partnership seeks to uphold Joseph Selvaggio’s three-part philosophy — the belief that the people and homes of the Phillips neighborhood are in and of themselves assets; that "help" means assisting people to help themselves; that revitalizing a neighborhood takes patience and a commitment to the long haul, "house by house, block by block, business by business."

“The JSI project is really an extension of how we understand health needs in the community. Too many children in Phillips are contracting childhood asthma, and we know that this is directly related to the poor quality of housing.”
~ Gordon Sprenger, CEO of Allina Health Systems

JSI has three elements:

  • Single-family Exterior Improvements* — A total of forty-seven property owners obtained grants of $7500 to improve the exterior of their homes. Many owners were inspired to invest their own funds as well.
  • Multi-Family Housing Rehabilitation — Ten rental properties will be completely renovated for rental to individuals and families that earn less than 50% of the area’s median income. Many of the buildings will have fewer units than original layouts provided once improvements are made, allowing for more bedrooms- a critical neighborhood need. A total of 32 units will be available with 1-4 bedrooms and rent ranging from $510-$700. Project for Pride in Living (PPL) is the developer and will manage the buildings once construction is complete.

    limestone stairs
    This retaining wall is one of the options
    property owners had for making property improvements.

  • Public Realm Improvements* — Over forty homes will be receiving retaining walls or wrought iron fences on their properties to unify and beautify the neighborhood. Fencing on block corners, crosswalk paving, lighting, traffic calming measures, street furniture and accent plantings will also serve to bring a more livable environment in this area.
Phillips Neighborhood Historic Study*
Joseph Selvaggio Initiative Healthy Building Initiative*

* Due to the large volume of information contained in these files, for best results, please download each PDF in its entirety. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view these documents. You can download a copy of this software here.

The Phillips Park Initiative (PPI) is a comprehensive urban redevelopment effort of community residents and organizations to provide housing opportunities for a mix of incomes and to strengthen the Phillips neighborhood. The PPI project addresses quality of life issues such as safety, transportation, and pride in the community and will include residential improvements, new housing units, enhanced landscaping and other site amenities. Recently, the Phillips Park Initiative was awarded the Neighborhood Revitalization Program 2001 Preservation Award by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission and the Minneapolis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its work to recapture the gracious and historic character of Park Avenue.

Phase I of PPI included renovation and conversion of three mansions into seven, owner-occupied condominium units and the creation of twenty-two new homeownership opportunities in townhouses and carriage houses. There has also been rehabilitation and improvements to existing adjacent properties of the newly renovated homes, including new garages, fencing, and sidewalk and street improvements. Phase II will begin in early 2002 and will include thirty-seven new or refurbished houses, town homes and condominium units available for homeowners and renters.

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East Phillips Infill Campaign (EPIC) Homes is a collaborative effort of Fannie Mae, the Greater Minneapolis Metropolitan Housing Corporation (GMMHC), MCDA, and Phillips Region East to construct a total of 20 new homes in vacant lots in the eastern portion of the Phillips neighborhood over the next two years. The neighborhood has carefully prioritized MCDA lots for EPIC Homes in East Phillips in order to concentrate activity and assure that new homeowners will be joining a block with strong residential support.

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