Groundbreaking celebration for innovative Holland "Solar Saver" Townhomes August 6

A groundbreaking celebration for the Holland Neighborhood Townhomes will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 6, at 824 24th Ave. NE. The Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association (HNIA) is the driving force behind the innovative nine-unit development that will be built on the site of a former US Bank parking lot that has been vacant and in disrepair for more than 20 years.

The development has the distinction of being the first of its kind in northeast Minneapolis to focus on sustainability-including state-of-the-art, energy-efficient appliances and solar panel shingles. In addition to a Solar Saver four-unit row house and two Solar Saver duplexes, an existing home on the site has been remodeled and will be integrated into the development. The townhomes are expected to sell for $170,000 to $220,000.

These Solar Saver Townhomes feature energy-saving components throughout, including solar collection systems on the roofs that capture the sun's energy and send it to a transformer that powers each unit's appliances. Any surplus energy is automatically credited to the user's utilities - and actually turns back their electric meter. This same system won Popular Science Magazine's Best of What's New Award in 2001. Other energy-saving features are high efficiency furnace and central air conditioning systems, Equator® ConServ Commercial Refrigerators, Equator® washers and dryers, and more.

An NRP investment of $250,000 helped jumpstart the project that also involved the purchase and renovation of the property at 824 24th Ave. NE. The developer, Awsumb and Associates, Inc. and HNIA are both equity partners in the development with HNIA set to receive $155,000 from the sale of the existing house plus 15 percent of the net profit generated by the project. HNIA will reinvest its share of the return in its low-income home rehabilitation program.

The exteriors of the new buildings - reminiscent of the Craftsman style popular in the early 1900s - have been carefully blended in with the early-twentieth century character of the neighborhood. The final design is a result of nearly two years of collaboration by the Holland Neighborhood Improvement Association, the Minneapolis Community Development Agency (MCDA), Awsumb and Associates and Shea Architects.

US Bank transferred its land to HNIA for an undervalued fee as part of its commitment to community reinvestment. The first model should be completed in September. An open house is being planned for the end of September.



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