Placemakers

Envision. Design. Finance. Build. Sustain.

PLACE is a nonprofit organization with a mission baked right into our acronymic name: Projects Linking Art, Community & Environment. We exist to create affordable living for people of call income levels and backgrounds within sustainable, mixed-use, transit-oriented communities. Our team and board of directors possess many decades worth of development experience. 

"PLACE is an excellent project, for the city and the region. Turning vacant, unused property into a community space with alternative energy features, that is connected to other uses, like transit, is just the kind of investment the Council wants to make toward a livable communities and a prosperous region” – Erin Heelan, TOD Grants Coordinator, Metropolitan Council Livable Communities.

The first complete community PLACE has developed and continues to own and manage as a nonprofit is WAV (Working Artists Ventura) – a mixed-income creative community in Ventura, CA. Completed in 2009 and thriving today, WAV is the country’s first sustainable arts community. Developed hand-in-hand with the local community over the course of 142 public meetings, WAV is a landmark project in southern California, providing affordable live/work homes for hundreds of artists and their families, along with permanent homes for families transitioning out of homelessness. Because PLACE owns and manages WAV, it will remain an affordable artist community forever. It is a hub for the arts, a tourist attraction, and a vibrant, 24/7 neighborhood. 

"They’re literally bringing dreams to life before our eyes." — Nick Goodenough, WAV Community Member

Today, PLACE is working in St. Louis Park, MN to create a community unlike any in the world. Hundreds of mixed-income apartments will provide affordable live/work units for creatives, luxury housing, and permanent supportive housing for lower-income families. A boutique hotel will cater to travelers who need easy access to downtown Minneapolis without the high prices. An urban forest will provide crucial green space and stormwater management. Perhaps most significantly, PLACE’s patent-pending E-Generation technology will power the entire community with 100% renewable energy, significantly lowering utility bills and lowering our impact on the surrounding environment. The entire project is positioned on the regional bike trail and future light rail line, making mass transit and car-free options available for all.

"We went after everything that was new, and then we went a step further." — Sid White, Former Economic Dev. Head, City of Ventura

To achieve this ambitious vision, PLACE has partnered with several public agencies and for-profit businesses to create a unified team with the right combination of financial assets and public benefit expertise. Charting new territory and confronting difficult challenges is part of our organizational DNA. PLACE continually seeks new ways to challenge the status quo, and ultimately to create beautiful, visionary places in which people from all walks of life can live, work, play, and create.

 


  • Latest from the blog

    Creatives! We need to hear your voices!

    We are building a landmark community for creatives in St. Louis Park this year. It will include affordable live/work space, shared studio and maker spaces, and easy access to transit and bike trails. It will also feature the country's first greenhouse powered by food scraps from the metro area, which will grow organic produce for the community. We need to know what your space needs are, and if you're interested in a place like this -- please take 5 minutes to take this survey, and share it with your friends and family. Thanks! Click here to take the 5-minute survey!
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    PLACE awarded $2 million from Met Council

    The Metropolitan Council approves a $2M grant to fund a landmark, transit-oriented development in the heart of St. Louis Park, Minnesota. On December 9, 2015 and after overwhelming enthusiasm and support from a rigorous application and vetting process, the Metropolitan Council approved funding for PLACE’s St. Louis Park Community. The Council approved 2 million dollars in funding from its Livable Communities Account for a Transit-Oriented Development (LCA-TOD) grant after the proposed project demonstrated a breakthrough approach to meeting housing and economic development needs in the Twin Cities. The funds will be used to help secure site acquisition at the former McGarvey Coffee property, pioneer alternative energy sources, and integrate stormwater improvement with infrastructure like green roofs and an urban forest. Read the press release here.
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