Cooperatove Conservation Project

Phalen Corridor Brownfields Redevelopment

Location: Midwest/Northern High Plains Region: Minnesota

Project Summary: Inner city decay is revitalized with parks, schools, housing, and employment by community and stakeholder outreach, planning and volunteerism.
Click for Full Size
The Phalen corridor involves 60 partners attracting 36 developments, 2,000 jobs and more.
Resource Challenge
The East Side of St. Paul, covering nearly a third of the city, was once a thriving manufacturing center. During the last 25 years, factories began closing one by one. Thousands of people lost their jobs. Retailers abandoned the area soon after, leaving the mostly minority inhabitants with a crumbling infrastructure, overburdened schools, and few recreational opportunities. Hundreds of acres of brownfields—barren, abandoned properties, some with toxic materials—were left behind.
Examples of Key Partners

Wells Fargo Bank, 3M Corporation, the East Side Area Business Association, Community Planning Councils 2, 3, and 5; the City of St. Paul, St. Paul Port Authority, Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate, Hmong American Partnership, McKnight Foundation, Metropolitan State University, and others.

Results and Accomplishments

The Phalen Corridor has attracted more than $570 million in development including 19 businesses bringing more than 2,000 jobs and more than 1,000 units of housing. The partnership is not a corporation, nonprofit or government agency, but a pure collaboration emphasizing local involvement, broad-based partnerships, and support for developers. In 1998, the Brownfi elds National Partnership designated the project a Showcase Community, qualifying it for additional financial and technical support from up to 20 federal agencies.


The project has won 11 national and statewide awards for environmental stewardship, engineering, housing, excellence in education, and economic development.

Project Contact
Curt Milburn
Project Director
Phalen Corridor



To request additions or corrections to this case study email the Administrator