Allina Health Commits to Anchor Institution Strategy in South Minneapolis

This article is part of our Housing & Health Equity Newsletter from February 2024

Allina Joins Local & National Movement for Housing Impact

Allina Health is joining local and national movements as an anchor institution deepening its commitment to making new investments addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) including affordable housing. Through campus renovation with a new surgical and critical care services building this Healthcare and Housing member organization is showing the power of community impact investment.

In November, Allina Health closed a $3 million loan with GMHF to advance housing and health equity developments in south Minneapolis. Midwell Apartments, a project completed last year, was the first development supported in association with Allina Health resources.

Allina Health sent 6 professionals to the GMHF Housing & Health Equity Fellows program. Fellows did a deep dive into how healthcare institutions use community impact investment to advance critically needed affordable housing locally. Allina joined the national Healthcare Anchor network in 2023 as well, committing to using $30 million in assets towards improving social determinants of health. So far, more than half of these resources have been deployed to support BIPOC businesses, stabilize commercial properties impacted by the global pandemic, and support the development of affordable housing.

History of intentional investment

In 2006, Alina Health demonstrated its commitment to south Minneapolis by locating its headquarters as an anchor tenant of the Midtown Exchange building. The former Sears & Roebuck warehouse and retail store became a renovated mixed-use space with residential and small business tenants ­– like those in the Midtown Global Market. The investment sparked a revitalization of Lake Street, with positive developments, stronger community, and increased safety in and around the Allina campus.

Challenges for the community returned with the global pandemic and civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd. Allina plans to remain in the Phillips neighborhood where they’ve been for nearly 140 years, signing a 20-year lease extension in 2017 and continuing their 10-year campus revitalization plan.

The Midwell building which can be seen from Allina Health’s headquarters, provides 86 affordable homes with 11 units set aside for formerly homeless households. The next possible development is at 34th and Nicollet in South Minneapolis. GMHF recently provided an acquisition loan to advance the project. Preliminary plans include a 75-unit affordable senior and mixed-use housing project, with office space for the YMCA, outdoor pickleball, and a pedestrian bridge to the YMCA across the street.

Allina Health decided to pool its investment into a larger fund that leverages other resources and provides financing to multiple affordable housing projects focused on their geography. In fact, over the last 8 years, more than 1000 units of affordable housing have been built serving the south Minneapolis geography. These projects show examples of the type of developments that are supported by GMHF’s revolving loan fund.

More from Allina on this project:

To view the full Housing & Health Equity Newsletter read more here.

Colorful banner image featuring the skyline that you might typically see in a small city or town in Greater Minnesota.