This week I want to update you on the effort to revitalize existing buildings in our Downtown and the Governor’s Task Force on Youth Intervention.
The City of Minneapolis is joining forces with other cities in Minnesota and the Minnesota League of Cities to lobby our State Legislature to create the Minnesota Building Reuse Tax Credit (BRTC). The BRTC will provide needed help to revitalize underused commercial buildings in large and small cities across the State. With so many commercial vacancies, we are seeing the property tax burden move from corporate landlords to renters and home owners. The end result is higher housing costs for all of us and/or cuts to city services, park services, and school funding. Here are the main points our lobbyists are emphasizing:
The BRTC is a temporary program designed to revitalize currently underused commercial buildings. In MPLS our goal is to create new housing and retail services.
The BRTC will be equivalent to 30% of the conversion costs. A grant equal to 90% of the credit amount is available to conversion projects under $5 million.
Buildings must be at least 15 years old and converted to a new, habitable, income-producing use. A building that has at least 50% of its floor area vacant for at least 5 years also qualifies for converting vacant areas to habitable condition.
Just last week the building on the corner of 1st Ave N and 5th St N sold for $3 million. It was purchased for $17 million in 2017. That $16 million drop in value means every renter and home owner in Minneapolis will have to pay higher rent or property tax to make up the difference. This is just one example.
I am the City Council representative on the joint Hennepin County and City Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee. The Committee was given an update on the State Task Force on Youth Intervention. The full report is ready to be presented to the State Legislature for review with recommended actions. Highlights include:
A regional system of care to house juvenile offenders.
Workforce development for the staff of juvenile housing. There is a strong need for this important work to be seen as a fulfilling, well-paid career.
Increasing access to social workers for a longer time. Currently, too many people who are making progress get cut off from social series before the needed healing is finished.
A greater emphasis on responding to the complex issues each juvenile needs. Currently the series are dictated by whether a juvenile enters the system through the courts or the Department of Human Services. The help should be the same, regardless of the entryway.
At the beginning of the City Council meeting this week I asked my fellow Council Members for a moment of silence to honor and remember the Matthew Ruge, Paul Elmstrand, and Adam Fineth, the Burnsville 1st responders who lost their lives protecting a mother and her children from violence. Please keep them, their families, and all our brave, dedicated 1st responders in your thoughts and prayers.
To send condolences for the deaths of Officer Paul Elmstrand and Officer Matthew Ruge and hopes for the recovery of Police Sgt Adam Mendlicott:
Burnsville Police Chief Tanya Schwartz
Burnsville Police Department
100 Civic Center Pkwy
Burnsville, MN 55337
To send condolences for the death of Firefighter/Paramedic Adam Finseth:
Burnsville Fire Chief BJ Jungmann
Burnsville Fire Department
100 Civic Center Pkwy
Burnsville, MN 55337
As always, please know that Henry, Patrick, and I are here to serve you. We can be reached at email@example.com. Please report all issues to 311 before contacting us so there is a paper trail and staff are already aware of the issue when we speak with them. You can contact 311 by simply dialing 311, email them at Minneapolis311@minneapolismn.gov or by submitting a 311 Contact Form.
Early voting hours extended
With the presidential primary election just a couple weeks away, the Early Vote Center is extending its hours. Anyone who is eligible to vote in Minneapolis on the day of the primary can vote early at the Early Vote Center, 980 E. Hennepin Ave.
From now through Thursday, Feb. 29, the Early Vote Center’s weekday hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Weekend hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. On Friday, March 1, the center is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The center’s last day of service is Monday, March 4, which is the day before the presidential primary election. Hours March 4 are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Elections offices are open until 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, but only for dropping off mail ballots.
Also, voters at the Early Vote Center can now place their ballot directly into the tabulator without needing to complete a series of envelopes, just like the process on the day of the primary.
Completed ballots should be mailed no later than Tuesday, Feb. 27. After that date, the City recommends returning your mail ballot in person to make sure it arrives in time. Ballots can be dropped off during regular business hours at Minneapolis Election & Voter Services, 980 E. Hennepin Ave.
Open house March 7: New Nicollet Redevelopment Project (former Kmart site)
The City of Minneapolis will update community members March 7 on new concepts for the New Nicollet Redevelopment Project. The concepts address the road and the public spaces. A once-in-a-generation opportunity, this project can help reshape the site for a better quality of life in the area.
The City plans to reconnect Nicollet Avenue between Lake Street and Cecil Newman Lane. We’ll work in partnership to develop the rest of the site into a walkable area with housing and retail. In November 2023, the City demolished the former Kmart building; the building had blocked Nicollet Avenue for X years.
Based on community input, City policies and project goals, the project team selected concepts for the site. City staff will first present the recommended selections to the community. The recommendations will go to the City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey this spring.
New Nicollet Redevelopment Project Open House
5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 7
Abyssinia Cultural Center, 322 W. Lake St.
The open house will be a fun, family-friendly event to see the design concepts and talk with staff.
Community engagement on the development is expected to start in summer 2024.
City looks to open community safety center pilot on East Lake Street
A community safety center pilot is expected to open late this summer on East Lake Street. Commissioner of Community Safety Toddrick Barnette and Office of Community Safety Director of Design and Implementation Amanda Harrington recently presented an update to the City Council on the project. The center will allow neighborhood residents to have space in the neighborhood where they can access a select number of services and resources until the South Minneapolis Community Safety Center opens in 2025.
The Office of Community Safety will be meeting with partners across the enterprise and the community to determine what services and resources could be located at the East Lake Street location. Feedback from the community will also play a large role in this determination.
A potential site for the center has been identified. The City is currently following its procurement process to lease space.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s International Festival celebrates the different cultures in the City of Minneapolis and surrounding communities. Join in to celebrate with music, dance, art, cultural learning booths, exhibits and demonstrations. At this free event, learn about many amazing cultures that help make Minneapolis such a wonderful place to live.
Minneapolis International Festival 1-5 p.m. Saturday, March 9
Central Park Gym