Generations Generations by liuqingyan


                                                  Summer 2011

                                                  Total transformations

                                                               ather friends or coworkers to create an amazing space for Aeon residents!
                                                               Aeon is now inviting volunteer groups to transform spaces at Aeon properties through
“When we walked                                                its Amazing Spaces initiative. Amazing Spaces allows volunteer groups to select a
                                                               project, gather materials, help make design decisions, and coordinate volunteers to
out it looked like                                             carry out plans. Projects have
                                                  included makeovers of community rooms, exterior
a totally different                               landscaping, playground installation, and more.

space…”                                           Big results
                                                  Leaders of past volunteer groups say it’s
                                                  rewarding to see big results at the end of the
                                                  day. “So much gets done so quickly by people
                                                  who are ready to jump in and tackle the
                                                  project,” says Jerry Murray, a manager at Cummins Power Generation who’s led volunteer groups for
                                                  annual landscaping projects. “I have a lot of people who look forward to volunteering every year.
                                                                               It’s just been very fun. It’s hard work and it’s fun too,” he says. Murray
                                                                               says the experience also fosters connections at work, as team members
                                                                               stop by his office to talk about their own home landscaping projects.

                                                                              Eager to return
                                                                              Andrew Centanni’s church-based group transformed the community
                                                                              room at Buri Manor, which has provided 38 apartments for people
                                                                              earning low incomes since 1986. “The community room had the feel of
                                                                              a storage space,” Centanni says. “We took out everything. Aeon gave
                                                                              us the liberty to reuse what we wanted to and discard what we didn’t.
                                                                              We brought in a new couch, a new chair, a kids’ chair, a new TV, a table,
                                                                              and more.” Centanni, an architect, teamed with the interior designer in
                                                                              the group to select the colors, furnishings, and fixtures.
                                                                                 “We did the whole project in three hours,” he says. “And that included
                                                                              a trip to IKEA and assembling the furniture we bought there. It was a
                                                                              good collaborative effort. When we walked out it looked like a totally
                                                                              different space and hopefully one that the community will really enjoy.”

                                                                              How you can get started
                                                                              To see a list of Aeon projects that need Amazing Spaces
                                                                              transformations, please visit If
                                                                              you’d like to participate in Amazing Spaces or have a project idea,
Volunteer teams make Aeon properties places people are proud to call home.
                                                                              please call Tashia Weisenberger at 612-341-3148, x224.
    A Message from the                                                     “If I won the lottery,
     A Message from
    President/CEO the President/CEO                                        I’d stay right here!”
                                                                           Aeon preserves affordability in
                          When I’m talking with someone about Aeon’s       downtown Minneapolis
                          work and I mention that we’re working on a Net   Nina Rensberger plans to stay in the home she loves as long as she can.
                          Zero Energy development, they nod and move       “They’ll have to wheel me out on a stretcher!” she says with a laugh.
                                                                              Rensberger moved to Minneapolis 17 years ago after her husband
                          on… and then they stop and stare. “You mean      died to be closer to her children.
                          it will create as much energy as it uses?!”      She got a job at a local grocery          “I always worked —
                                                                           store, but then began having
                                                                                                                     all my life. But all of
                                                                           problems with her back. “I always
                                                                           worked — all my life. But all of a        a sudden I couldn’t
                            Aeon recently proved we can meet high
                                                                           sudden I couldn’t stand on my own         stand on my own two
    standards for sustainable building with our LEED Platinum              two feet anymore,” she says.
                                                                              Soon, her only income was
                                                                                                                     feet anymore.”
    -certified addition to Alliance Apartments, which offers formerly
                                                                           Social Security and a small pension
    homeless persons a quality sober community. We’ve followed that        from her husband’s work. “I looked for an apartment but I couldn’t
                                                                           find anything affordable,” she says. “My daughter suggested I look
    up with a LEED Gold-certified adaptive reuse of an historic shoe
                                                                           into low-income housing and I said, ‘No, I’ve always earned my own
    factory in St. Paul (The Renaissance Box). Now we’re poised to         way, I’m not gonna do it!’”
                                                                              But seeing the charm of the historic Maryland, one of the longest-
    take another leap forward with the fourth phase of our South
                                                                           standing buildings in the Loring Park Neighborhood, helped change
    Quarter redevelopment in Minneapolis. This 120-unit mixed-             her mind.
                                                                              Rensberger moved in and, as soon as her back was better, started
    income, mixed-use property will be created using the Living            working for the building management, vacuuming floors and helping
    Building Challenge framework - a holistic, forward-thinking,           with other maintenance. “My daughter asked me what I would do if I
                                                                           won the lottery,” Rensberger says. “I said I would stay right here —
2   performance-focused approach to community sustainability.              and pay market-rate rent, of course!”
      Why is this important?

      Twenty-five years ago our board committed to build affordable

    homes for people better than had been done before. We later

    evolved to understand that sustainability — true sustainability —

    is essential to continuing that commitment. We intend that Aeon’s

    quality, affordable homes are assets for 100 years and more, which

    gives us a vital interest in long-term operating costs. Plus, it’s

    imperative that our residents have living places that are healthy,

    beautiful, and affordable.

      We’ve assembled a team of national and international experts to

    achieve our goals for South Quarter Phase IV. The result will be not

    only 120 high-quality apartment homes for people, but a model for
                                                                           Aeon’s purchase of the Maryland in downtown Minneapolis will ensure
    sustainable communities nationwide.
                                                                           that people like Nina Rensberger have affordable homes for years
                                                                           to come.

    Alan Arthur, President/CEO
Beyond Bricks & Mortar —
You make it happen!

                                                                                                    (L to R): David Cuthill, John Davis, Ginger Davis,
                                                                                                    Kathy Holladay

back row: Stuart Ackerberg, Alan Arthur, John Lavander, Nan Owen, Kathleen Fluegel, Joanne Walz
front row: David Newman, Paul Cochran, John Duffy, Mark Liska


(L to R): Mike Doyle, Jon Engel, Megan McGough, Darby Bitzan,
Mike Soukup, Ryan Anderson

                                                                           back row: Alison Halley, Sue Patterson, Dan Smith, Larry Daniely, David Wiese
                                                                           front row: Paige Harris, Lesley Eckstein, Travis O’Hara

(L to R): Courtney Poja, Kent Hranicka, Nick Mattson, Brian Woolsey,
Sam Ingram
    Our Vision:
    Every person has a home and is                                                                     Support Aeon’s mission
    interconnected within community
                                                                                                       Sienna Green Phases I and II, Alliance
                                                                                                       Addition and Renaissance Box. In other words,
    Our mission:
                                                                                                       301 high-quality, affordable apartment homes,
    To create and sustain quality affordable                                                           including 109 designated for individuals
    homes that strengthen lives and communities                                                        transitioning out of homelessness.

    Established in 1986, Aeon has built or                                                             Without our fundraising dollars, this would not
                                                                                                       be possible.
    renovated 1,785 quality affordable homes and
    serves more than 3,000 people annually. The       Alliance Addition, before renovation
                                                                                                       Without your support, these three properties
    nonprofit’s inspiration to create community                                                        — one in Roseville, one in the Elliot Park
    assets that last for generations is illustrated                                                    neighborhood of Minneapolis and one in the
    in its name “Aeon,” which means “forever.”                                                         Lowertown area of St. Paul — would not be
                                                                                                       there to provide low-income individuals and
                                                                                                       families a chance for a brighter future.
    Learn More:
    Attend Building Dreams, a one hour                                                                 Your support allows us to create the homes
    informational session and tour.                                                                    that strengthen lives and communities.
    Register today at:

                                                                                                          Donate Today!
    or email

                                                      Alliance Addition today, after renovation

             Find us on Facebook

4     Development Updates

                                                                                                       South Quarter,
                                                                                                       Phase IV
                                                      The Landing                                      The fourth and final phase of the
                                                      The Landing in Chaska will create 47 one-        transformation of Franklin and Portland
                                                      bedroom apartment homes for seniors, offering    avenues in Minneapolis will create 120
                                                      Chaska residents the opportunity to age within   apartments and retail space. Aeon is using the
                                                      the community. Abundant shared spaces
    Renaissance Box                                   and pedestrian-friendly surroundings will
                                                                                                       Living Building Challenge approach to achieve
                                                                                                       the highest standards of livability, health,
    A historic shoe factory in downtown St. Paul      foster vital social connections for residents.   sustainability, and affordability.
    has become loft style apartments for people       Construction will begin in 2012.
    earning low to moderate incomes. Renaissance
    Box now provides 70 high-quality apartment
    homes. Elements such as exposed brickwork
    and concrete floors add character and reflect
    the site’s unique history.

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