Projects Linking Art, Community & Environment

A nonprofit organization

73% complete

$4,500 Goal

PLACE's mission is to create places that foster a sustainable, just, and inspiring world.

What will our neighborhoods look like in 50 years? How can we predict if they will meet the needs of our growing population? How can we take care of each other and our environment? Be vibrant and affordable?

Our future depends on Projects in today’s neighborhoods Linking Art, Community and Environment. We named our organization after this truth, as builders of tomorrow’s communities. You can help us create affordable, sustainable and vibrant communities for all.

A roof over your head is only one factor in your quality of life. That’s why our comprehensive approach connects housing, transportation, food, energy, jobs, health, education, and creativity. This holistic approach creates a home from where every resident can thrive.

The PLACE Team has extensive experience planning, designing, constructing, and rehabilitating residential and commercial properties. Together, we have created nearly $500 million in environmentally friendly public facilities and 750 affordable homes across the United States.

Through our work, we have seen lives and communities change because of stable, affordable housing and the chance to live in empowering, creative and inclusive communities.

People need places to live that don't disproportionately burden their ability to pay, their time, or their health.

Via Sol - an example of density done well

The light rail train extension connecting the Twin Cities southwest suburbs to downtown Minneapolis will open in 2025. Redevelopment is happening now in anticipation of this increase in transit. New homes, businesses, and amenities are being developed around planned station areas. The market will ensure that development takes advantage of the opportunity. But the market alone will not develop spaces that are inclusive, sustainable, and offer creative opportunities. PLACE was among the first nonprofits to redevelop a brownfield site along the line extension.

How can we break old market patterns to create a community that values social justice, environmentalism, and art, while contributing to our regional economy at this pivotal moment?

We work together. PLACE worked with the City of St. Louis Park, Hennepin County, the Metropolitan Council, residents, artists, service providers, and businesses to realize a community at the future Wooddale Station along the light rail Green Line Extension. Through dozens of community meetings and innovation with design and construction partners, we designed an eco-village to meet our region’s common needs. We call it Via Sol.

Via Sol created construction and permanent jobs during a major economic downturn and pandemic. Now complete, it houses 217 families across the income spectrum. Two-thirds of the apartment homes are dedicated to folks needing affordable living. Local businesses will generate jobs specifically for people living at Via. Created as a transit oriented development that includes car sharing in partnership with HourCar, dedicated EV charging, bike parking and sharing, regional bike trail and LRT access, Via Sol will reduce the costs of transportation for all in the community. 

Selected in an intensive, community-led process, three artists--Jendayi Berry, Kada Goalen, and Randy Walker--were commissioned to create new works of outdoor art that overlook the new urban forest and Cedar Lake Trail. With support from the Metropolitan Council and private donors, PLACE was able to financially support artists through the process of proposing, selecting, and creating the works. These new works greatly enhance the station area and enrich the community.

Because we all deserve a PLACE

With our wealth of experience, PLACE is helping communities and private developers shift policy and practices to be more inclusive, efficient, resilient, and comprehensive. Large development projects designed to create affordable living produce a great deal of profit for the finance and construction industries, but are becoming more and more challenging for charities to finance and operate in the public interest. PLACE continues to drive innovation in legal contracting, design and building technologies, and policy analysis, bringing valuable lessons learned to each new endeavor. Changing how we deliver affordable living will allow more homes to be created more quickly, and with positive environmental and economic impact.

Organization Data


Organization name

Projects Linking Art, Community & Environment

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Community Economic Development


729 N. Washington Avenue, Sixth Floor



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