Mpls Streetcars $60 Million Closer to Reality

Updated: 12/26/2013 9:15 PM By: Jay Kolls

The Minneapolis City Council gave unanimous approval to spending $60 million on the first leg of a new streetcar line. 

The total cost of the project will be $200 million and the city now has to find some funding partners to complete the project.

The first leg of the streetcar line will run from University and Hennepin avenues, jog over to Nicollet Avenue, and then continue all the way to the K-Mart on Lake Street. The project funds will come from a new revenue capture system that is brand new to Minnesota.

Minneapolis will issue bonds to borrow the money for the streetcar line to get the project started.

The city is then banking on new development to keep growing along the streetcar line and it will capture the increased revenue from enhanced property values to pay off the $60 million in bond debt.

It is a bit risky because, if the developments don't materialize, or existing developments fail, taxpayers then are on the hook to pay off part of the debt.

The key to moving forward is the City enticing other partners such as Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Council, the State and even the Federal Government to help pay for the remainder of the streetcar project.