For immediate release
Jan. 10, 2024
Media contact: Steven Jahnke, city engineer and director of public works at [email protected] or 507-377-4325

DEED announces cleanup grant for Blazing Star Landing in Albert Lea

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced today that nearly $2.15 million in Contamination Cleanup and Investigation grants were awarded to six communities statewide. The grants will help the awarded communities assess and clean up contaminated sites for private or public redevelopment and create or retain more than 100 jobs.

The City of Albert Lea will receive $130,527 to clean up a 3.66-acre site contaminated with petroleum and other contaminants. Located in the Blazing Star Landing redevelopment district, the site previously was the location of a meat-packing facility for almost 100 years. That plant burned down in 2001 and the Blazing Star area has remained mostly vacant for decades due to soil contamination costs and related remediation costs.

This site, the fourth phase of projects in the former Farmland Foods area, will be redeveloped into a 9,100-square-foot convenience store with multiple filling pumps and a car wash. This project is anticipated to create or retain 19 jobs, increase the local tax base by $54,824 and leverage $8.7 million of private investment.

The city will provide matching funds.

DEED’s Contamination Cleanup Grants cover up to 75 percent of the costs of removing contamination at approved polluted sites. The remaining costs are covered by cities and counties, other units of local government and private landowners and developers.

This statewide round of grants will lead to the investigation or cleanup of nearly 27 acres and is expected to add almost $2 million to the local tax bases, create 461 housing units and leverage more than $169 million in private investment. Other communities receiving grants include Maplewood, Minneapolis, Newport, St. Paul and Shoreview.


The mission of the City of Albert Lea is to deliver exceptional services that enhance the quality of life for current and future generations.