RICHFIELD, Minn – Almost 16 years ago, Santos Mejia moved into the Seasons Park apartment complex. He came from New York and before that El Salvador.
"I came here looking for a better life and a better job,” Santos said through Richfield City Council woman Maria Regan Gonzalez who was translating for him.
Mejia went on to say, “With the purchase of Seasons park by Aeon, we are a lot calmer and a lot of the residents are much calmer."
The 422-unit building in Richfield was being targeted for a sale to a private for-profit developer. The sale concerned city leaders and residents alike that it would push out low-income families and make it unaffordable.
In 2015, the 700-unit Crossroads at Penn apartments was sold and renovated forcing hundreds of low-income residents to find new homes. City leaders say that even strained some funding for students in Richfield coming from low-income families who needed more financial help.
Aeon agreed to purchase the Seasons Park apartment complex for $36 million along with a development partner. Aeon is a nonprofit that helps keep low-income options in communities for families.
"With our partner, the community development trust this can be a model for Minnesota and across the country on how to work together and how to keep more homes more affordable for more people," said Aeon President Alan Arthur.
The company also says it will be adding another $4 million in renovations to the complex.