F&C Top Projects: The Hillock

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023

Ecumen’s The Hillock was selected as one of Finance & Commerce’s Top Projects of 2022, recognizing Minnesota’s top design and construction projects for the year.

An independent panel of judges selected 50 honorees for the annual program. Projects are judged for their degree of difficulty, creativity in design, innovative construction techniques, cooperation among contractors and management, and sustainability efforts.

The Hillock
Location: 4440 Snelling Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406

The Hillock is a new 100-unit affordable senior housing community in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood. It is the first phase in creating a 100% affordable, intergenerational campus called Snelling Yards, and redevelops a three-acre parcel at Snelling and 45th Street that formerly housed City Public Works. The Hillock adds vibrancy to the neighborhood and addresses a chronic shortage of need-specific, affordable housing for 55+ residents rooted in single-family housing. Designed to provide a safe, affordable, maintenance-free living option adjacent to public transit for older Minneapolis residents, The Hillock also offers the benefits of socialization and community.

Codeveloped by Ecumen and Snelling Yards Development, a joint venture between Lupe Development Partners and the Wall Companies, the redevelopment of the Snelling and 45th Street site has involved years of careful planning and collaboration through several challenges.

The Snelling Yards redevelopment, with The Hillock and the future phase of family housing, helps meet this area’s critical need for quality affordable housing. The Hillock provides homes to low- and moderate-income seniors age 55+ with all units at or between 30% and 60% AMI. The intergenerational approach allows aging seniors, entry-level workforce, and working family residents an opportunity to remain and thrive in their neighborhood with quality housing. This site is an ideal location for an intergenerational community due to its proximity to transit, jobs, retail and services.

Campus amenities help all residents build relationships with their neighbors. Fostering connections through intergenerational living gives seniors a sense of purpose, decreases isolation, and creates a place for sharing skills and ideas with younger generations. The project’s community garden along 45th Street will be programmed by Ecumen and open to the public. The garden supports food security initiatives and provides a space for residents and neighbors to tend and harvest fresh food together.

The Hillock features a visiting clinic space to host service providers coming to see residents directly on campus for needs such as therapy and podiatry care. Residents can receive care without having to leave their community, reducing transportation or wayfinding challenges.

Ecumen partnered with Veterans Affairs (VA) to serve Veterans experiencing homelessness through housing at The Hillock. Through this partnership, the VA can place 11 Veterans in the building and provide them with VASH Rental Assistance and services. Ecumen’s onsite Housing Manager and Service Coordinator partners with case managers at the VA to provide the support needed for housing stability for these residents.


  • Owner, Developer & Housing Manager: Ecumen
  • Co-Developer: Snelling Yards Development, a joint venture between Lupe Development Partners and the Wall Companies
  • Contractor: Frana Companies
  • Architect & Interior Designer: Pope Design Group
  • Civil Engineer: Stantec
  • Structural Engineer: Steen Engineering
  • Grant Writer: Rippley Richard Real Estate Development Services, LLC
  • Photographer: Nate Johnson Studio and Tonka Real Estate Photography

See the rest of this year’s honorees on the Finance & Commerce’s announcement.

This year’s Top Project will be featured in a special magazine and in a series of stories and photos in the Finance & Commerce daily newspaper and on the F&C website starting in July.