New Brighton Elementary School was originally built in 1939, and was owned and operated by the Mounds View School District for approximately 39 years before being closed in the late 1970s. The building was then used by the School District as a Community Resource Center for another five years before being sold to the Korean United Methodist Church around 1983. The Church operated on the site until 2017 when they decided to move to a newer facility. Given that the City had identified this area for redevelopment dating back to the 1980s, the City chose to make an offer on the land and was one of four bidders on the private market. The Church selected the City's bid amongst the four offers, and the property was officially acquired by the City in August of 2017.
As to why the City wanted to be involved in this area, the success north of I-694 in the New Brighton Exchange is a recent example of how proactive efforts by the City to acquire, clean up, and revitalize an area can result in a major transformation that benefits all taxpayers in the community. To date, the overall land value within the Exchange has increased over 300% since the project began ($27 million to $108.5 million) which will result in nearly $2 million going to the tax rolls in future years benefiting the City, State, and local school district. The City anticipates this new residential redevelopment will result in a similar success.