East Phillips Commons

East Phillips Commons

East Phillips Commons

2909 Bloomington Avenue South,
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Project Components:

  • 35 affordable, multifamily rental units

Partner Organizations:

  • East Phillips Improvement Coalition
  • Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association
  • Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA)
  • Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation  (GMHC)
  • HUD
  • City of Minneapolis
  • Minneapolis Police Department

Funding Sources:

  • Tax Exempt Bonds
  • Challenge Funds
  • Affordable Housing Investment Funds (AHIF) from Hennepin County
  • Affordable Housing Trust Funds from the City of Minneapolis
  • Tax Increment Financing from the City of Minneapolis
  • NRP funds from both the East Philips and Midtown Phillips Neighborhoods
  • Interim funding for acquiring duplexes provided by GMHC
  • HOME funds


Before East Phillips Commons was completed in 2004, the corner of 29th Street East and Bloomington Avenue was an area heavily impacted by drugs, prostitution and crime. Several of the neighborhood residents actively fought to keep the area safe for their families, but even with volunteer neighborhood patrols starting at 6 AM, cleaning the streets so that children could walk safely to school, the situation was far too immense for these patrols to make a big enough difference. Tired of feeling unsafe, neighborhood residents came together to seek help, contacting Minneapolis developers to see what could be done to clean up their neighborhood.

Dean Dovolis, of DJR Architecture, Inc, started working with the East Phillips Neighborhood to help redevelop a severely crime-ridden area. In the spring of 2002, Dean contacted Loren Brueggemann, who was currently working in partnership with Sherman Associates, Inc., and asked him to attend a neighborhood meeting in order to see if he could also help with some of the many redevelopment challenges. 

After several meetings with the Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association and the East Phillips Improvement Coalition over several months, a city block area on the corner of 29th Street East and Bloomington Avenue was determined to be a key target location which, once redeveloped, could cause the most positive impact on the entire neighborhood. This city block contained six troublesome, crime-ridden duplexes with absentee landlords, four of which were used as crack houses.

Together with the help of the Neighborhood Associations and the Minneapolis Police Force, the troublesome properties were acquired and torn down, making way for the new construction of East Phillips Commons, a 35 unit, affordable rental property consisting primarily of 2-3 bedroom units. This project not only cleaned up a significant amount of the criminal element plaguing this community, but also provided much needed safe, affordable housing for many families of the East Phillips Neighborhood.

This project was a true collaboration between the concerned residents of the East Phillips Neighborhood and the hard-working team lead by Loren Brueggemann in partnership with Sherman Associates, Inc. It exemplifies what a difference neighborhood outreach, along with affordable development, can make on a community.