Nonprofit developer Aeon to purchase Como by the Lake

Residents at Como by the Lake, 901 E. Como Blvd., got some good news last week: The owners of the complex, which houses mostly elderly and disabled residents under a Section 8 contract, had accepted a bid from Aeon, a Minneapolis-based affordable housing management company.

Aeon director Alan Arthur had expected the final purchase agreement to be signed by Friday, Aug. 21, just as the Park Bugle went to press.

Residents “are really happy to have secure housing,” Arthur said, and Aeon plans to “preserve the existing Section 8 housing” at the building. The purchase should be completed by Dec. 1, Arthur said.

In May, residents received letters from building’s owner, Como Lake Limited Partnership of Maple Grove, informing them they would no longer be accepting Section 8 subsidies and were planning to drop its designation as a senior living complex. The owners had planned to renovate the building and put the apartments on the open market. Fifty-seven of the 99 units in the 30-year-old building had been under a Section 8 contract.

St. Paul City Council member Amy Brendmoen—who sent a letter of support to the building’s owners encouraging them to accept a bid from a developer that would preserve the Section 8 housing—said the sale to Aeon is the result of the tenants of the building advocating for themselves.

“It’s been really stressful to these people,” Brendmoen said. “I can’t imagine being 87 or 93 and being worried about where you are going to live.”

“We are humbled that we get to be a part of it,” Arthur said. “One of the great things is how passionate and smart the residents were in how they thought about talking about this issue.”

Aeon is also in the process of developing a housing complex at University and Vandalia avenues in St. Anthony Park that will have an affordability component. “We don’t do anything that doesn’t have a significant chunk of affordability to it,” Arthur said.

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