Oakdale property acquired for new AbleLight Village

People with developmental disabilities and all abilities to be welcomed to new community

Oakdale, Minn. – Bethesda (soon to become AbleLight) has acquired 2.67 acres of land that will become the future home of AbleLight Village – Oakdale, a $26.5 million residential community that will welcome and integrate independent people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with people of all abilities.

Located at 390 Helmo Ave. N., AbleLight Village will feature 71 apartment homes, including 50 that will be considered affordable housing rather than market rate. Up to 17 units, or about 25 percent, will be set aside for households where at least one individual has an intellectual or developmental disability.

The site is less than 1/8 mile from the future Helmo Avenue Station, part of Metro Transit’s Gold Line Bus Rapid Transit that connects downtown St. Paul with the eastern suburbs, providing easy access to transportation for residents. This project will be the first to break ground in the station area, which is planned as a pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use district.

This will be the second AbleLight Village in the metro area. The first, in Victoria, opened in 2020.

AbleLight Village apartment homes include smart-home technology, such as smart thermostats and smart locks to support independence and a sense of security. In addition, the communities foster an active social life through physical design and ongoing programming. A director of activities will be hired to create and customize events and classes that appeal to the personality of the community, such as exercise classes, coffee hours, book clubs, faith groups and community service opportunities.

“Our vision for developing AbleLight Village is to create an environment that supports an active, engaged lifestyle for all residents and a true sense of community for the whole neighborhood,” said Tom Campbell, Vice President of Real Estate for Bethesda. “AbleLight Village will be a warm, welcoming place that invites neighbors to join in our activities to become part of a diverse community where all can learn and grow with one another.”

AbleLight Village – Oakdale will partner with Phoenix Service Corp. to provide optional onsite service coordination, available to all residents.

Financial support from multiple levels of government is making affordable housing possible at AbleLight Village – Oakdale. This includes the City of Oakdale, Washington County, Metropolitan Council, Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

“AbleLight Village is a model for housing options available to people of all abilities,” said Rich Stoebe, a member of the Washington County Parent Housing Group. “The project demonstrates how groups can come together to support inclusion so that all residents of Washington County can live and work where they choose. We are grateful for the collaboration between Bethesda and the City of Oakdale for their vision and progress on behalf of people with disabilities.”

Two parcels are being combined to create AbleLight Village. A privately owned parcel of just over two acres will join a city-owned parcel of just over ½ acre.

Pending all approvals, construction is set to begin in spring 2022. Besides the Oakdale development, two more AbleLight Village communities are under development in the Milwaukee area, to be followed by Sacramento, Calif.


About AbleLight

AbleLight is a national leader in pioneering life-changing services that empower people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to thrive. Founded in 1904 in Wisconsin as a Christian mission, AbleLight promotes independence and inclusion across the U.S. through comprehensive and individualized supports that include housing, employment, spiritual life and much more. For details, go to AbleLight.org, like our Facebook page and follow us on LinkedIn.