Aeon, a nonprofit developer, owner and manager of affordable homes, is proud to celebrate the completion of a $2.6 million renovation and the grand re-opening of the Como By Lake Apartments, a five-floor building with 99 apartments in the South Como neighborhood of St. Paul.
In the older units flooring, bathroom fixtures, kitchen countertops, and sinks were all replaced as part of the project. There is also new paint throughout the building and new energy-efficient windows and smart TVs in the public, gathering areas.
Aeon and general contractor Frerichs Construction worked with residents and sought their input for several key design elements including the best use of the game and fitness rooms.
Aeon’s mission is to create and sustain quality affordable homes that strengthen lives and communities. Thanks to support from numerous funding partners, Aeon was able purchase the property in 2016 and improve the quality of these apartments while maintaining the affordability of the property.
“We are deeply grateful to all the generous partners who helped make this project a success and that share our belief that homes change everything,” said Alan Arthur, Aeon’s President & CEO. “Affordable homes like the Como By the Lake Apartments are an asset. It is up to all of us to invest and preserve them. But Aeon can’t do it alone. This project shows that it takes the dedication and creative thinking of an entire community to make quality, affordable homes a reality.”
Under the previous ownership, Como By the Lake apartments was on the verge of dropping its senior living designation and no longer accepting Section 8 subsidies, which would have affected more than half of the residents. The residents rallied, and they contacted Aeon. With support from its partners, Aeon was able to purchase the property and preserve affordability.
To celebrate the completion of the work, Aeon hosted a celebration and tour at the building last month. Como By the Lake resident Shirley has lived in her apartments for 17 years. She said that when residents were told the building was going to be sold it was an unsettling time for everyone.
“But then Aeon stepped in and we got to stay. Now our apartments have been painted and we have new floors and appliances,” Shirley said. “Some of my favorite memories have been the parties we’ve had in the dining room and the family gatherings I’ve hosted here. I am grateful to call Como By the Lake home.”
Shirley also thanked the team at Frerichs Construction for their cooperation and willingness to make all the residents feel comfortable and not interrupt their daily lives during the work.
Minnesota Housing Commissioner Jennifer Ho also attended the event.
“This preservation project is an excellent example of collaboration,” said Ho. “The residents spoke up, private and public partners listened, and this was the outcome. Como By the Lake offers beautiful apartment homes in a wonderful setting near the lake. I am very proud that Minnesota Housing could be part of preserving this important source of homes that are affordable.”
Funding for these improvements was provided By the City of St. Paul, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, the Metropolitan Council, Wells Fargo, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines and several foundations in the city of St. Paul.