Wilder Square

Project Type: Multifamily
Name of Developer: CommonBond Communities
Developer Point of Contact Name: Cecile Bedor
Point of Contact Email: cecile.bedor@commonbond.org
Contact Phone:  612.298.5071 
Project Address: 750 North Milton Street, St Paul, MN 55104
Number of Units: 136
Building Type: Apartment Building
Owner Type: Rental

Brief Description:  In 2019, CommonBond purchased Wilder Square to preserve and improve a critical affordable housing asset in Saint Paul. A 136-unit, 11-story building that was originally constructed in 1974, the property is three blocks from Lexington Avenue, providing excellent access to public transit, healthcare, shopping, and employment opportunities. 

Upon our purchase, CommonBond retained existing rent levels and added our flagship Advantage Services coordination services. The property had 54 units of Section 8 project-based rental assistance, and CommonBond successfully secured 36 additional units of project-based rental assistance via a unique federal tool known as 8bb; 90 households now benefit from Section 8 rental assistance. 

CommonBond continued its efforts to improve the property by investing its own funds and significant additional funds secured from several partner sources to complete a comprehensive rehab. Improvements included extensive renovation to all units including all new kitchens and baths, and new paint, lighting, doors, flooring, and paint. Some units were fully converted to provide accessible living as well. 

Additionally, we reconfigured and added to the building footprint to include functional offices for property management and resident services staff, added a computer room for residents, and updated elevators. Fire suppression/alarm and security systems were added, and the roof, boilers, and water heaters were all replaced. The parking lot was reconfigured and repaved and new landscaping was also added. Much of the work took place over the height of the COVID pandemic, and the renovation is now complete. 

We’re now ready to convert from our construction loan to permanent financing. In order to do so, we are seeking contributions totaling $4.8MM to ensure a properly sized first mortgage.