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Tuesday P.M. Report

Mayors announce $41M for first-time homebuyers, Ecumen adds senior housing projects, Dairy Queen expanding to Egypt and Macau, Abbott NW gets $5M grant, and Blaine to get medical office building.

Rybak, Coleman announce $41M for first-time homebuyers: Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman have announced $41 million in new funding for first-time homebuyers to purchase homes in both cities. The funding comes available through the CityLiving Program, which offers below-market interest rates on mortgages as well as downpayment and closing-cost assistance. To qualify, homebuyers’ household income cannot exceed $92,290 and the purchase price (for a single-family home) can’t be greater than $276,870. Read full story

 Ecumen adds two senior housing projects: Nonprofit senior housing provider Ecumen last week broke ground on a $27 million, 134-unit apartment complex in Apple Valley. It also has taken over management duties for a $30 million, 150-unit apartment complex being constructed in Maplewood. The pair of developments — called The Seasons at Apple Valley and The Seasons at Maplewood — strengthen Ecumen’s position in the metro area. Read full story

Dairy Queen expanding to Egypt, Macau: International Dairy Queen plans to enter two new countries in 2010, when it opens new stores in Macau, China, and in Cairo, Egypt. Edina-based Dairy Queen said it has signed franchise deals with operators in both countries. Read full story

Abbott NW gets $5M grant to expand study: Abbott Northwestern Hospital has received a $4.75 million grant from the Robina Foundation to expand a study on the use of “relatively inexpensive” employees, called care guides, to help manage chronic diseases. Minneapolis-based Abbott Northwestern has been conducting the study on 332 patients who have diabetes, hypertension or heart failure.Before the study, 33 percent of these patients weren’t meeting their clinical goals. Only six months after the project started, the percentage is down to 22 percent. Read full story

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$8M+ medical office building to break ground in Blaine soon: MSP Commercial will break ground next month on a 33,000-square-foot medical office building in Blaine that’s 87 percent leased. It’s one of the few commercial real estate projects in the Twin Cities slated to start in early 2010. Total development costs are estimated at more than $8 million. Read full story