FORT SNELLING, Minn. - Twenty six historic buildings at Fort Snelling's Upper Post will get new life as affordable housing units after a deal was struck between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Dominium, a development and management company.

The project, which comes with a price tag nearing $100 million, calls for the historic buildings to be updated and restored into 176 units of affordable housing. It will be financed through a combination of low income housing tax credits, federal and state historic tax credits, tax-exempt bonds and other sources.

Expected to open in 2021, the Upper Post Flats will give housing preference to veterans and their families.

Built in the late 1800s, the 26 buildings at the Upper Post have been managed by the DNR Parks and Trails Division since 1971, when the property was transferred as part of the Federal Lands to Parks Program. The site was the point of departure for thousands of Minnesota soldiers during the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II. It was the site of the Japanese language school for the entire U.S. military from 1944 to 1946.

The buildings are close in proximity to the Fort Snelling Golf Course and Historic Fort Snelling.

”The Fort Snelling Upper Post was once regarded as one of the most endangered historic sites in the nation, but today we are taking a significant step toward preserving it for future generations,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “The DNR is pleased to be working with Dominium on this redevelopment project, and we can hardly wait to see these beautiful old buildings occupied again after standing empty for so long.”

Dominium has restored St. Paul's Schmidt Brewery on West 7th and the Pillsbury A-Mill in Minneapolis, along with many other historic projects.