Updated: 05/14/2014 11:27 AM
Created: 05/14/2014 8:36 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson
We’re exactly one month away from the opening of Metro Transit’s new Green Line light rail, and transportation officials say it’s already having a positive impact on the growth of nearby businesses.
On Wednesday, officials said the Green Line, which connects Minneapolis and St. Paul, has helped attract at least $2.5 billion in development in the form of 121 new housing and retail projects within a half mile of the tracks. Forty-three of those projects have yet to be publicly announced.
One of the largest projects announced so far is a $45 million expansion of senior housing near Fairview and University. A Central Corridor Affordable Housing Study says that for every one unit that already existed along the line, 12 new units have now been built.
Officials say the Green Line will give more options for people looking for jobs outside their neighborhoods, and if they want to work within their neighborhoods there will be more jobs and options for that as well.
It’s taken years for the Green Line to get to this point; heavy construction on the line began back in 2010. When the light rail line opens in 31 days, it will have cost more than $950 million to build. A trip between its last Minneapolis stop at Nicollet Mall and the furthest one in St. Paul at Central Station will take riders about 40 minutes.