COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK //Soap Factory $99 sale returns Sept. 9

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August 29, 2011
By: Jeremy Zoss & Michelle Bruch
Jeremy Zoss & Michelle Bruch
RIVERFRONT — The Soap Factory’s annual $99 sale has been scheduled for Sept. 9. More than 200 artists contributed to the event, during which all of the submitted 8-by-10 pieces are on sale for $99, with all proceeds benefiting The Soap Factory, 514 2nd St. SE.

As always, all pieces in the sale will only be signed on the back so the artist is only revealed after a piece is purchased. Contributing artists include Alex Soth, Chris Faust, Liz Miller and Wing Young Huie.

Tickets to the $99 sale cost $30 and include food and drinks by Chowgirls Catering. Any remaining works will be available for $66 during the “morning after” sale from 9 a.m.–noon on Sept. 10. Admission to the morning after sale is free.  

Interchange project seeking design-build teams

NORTH LOOP— The Interchange project, the future transit hub adjacent to Target Field, will be built utilizing the design-build construction process in order to hit a 2014 completion deadline.

The design-build process, which was also used for the reconstruction of the I-35W Bridge, streamlines the development process by setting basic design parameters and seeking a team to complete the design and construction.

The completed Interchange will be the largest transit hub in the metro area. The project will connect 500 trains daily to more than 1,900 buses and the Cedar Lake Bike Trail.

“The way you get real functionality out of these lines is you have the individual lines, but then you have the ability to transfer,” said Hennepin County Country Commissioner Peter McLaughlin. McLaughlin. “And this is one of those great transfer spots. You’ll be able to get to Brooklyn Park, Eden Prairie, Downtown St. Paul, the airport, the Mall of America, the University of Minnesota. The trains are going to be every five minutes in any of those directions. That’s pretty amazing.”

Urban design guidelines are also being created for The Interchange in conjunction with consultant Kimley-Horn and Associates. These guidelines will be included as part of the request for proposal (RFP) for teams seeking to design and build The Interchange. The RFP is scheduled for this fall.

However, you don’t have to be in the construction business to have a say in the design of The Interchange.

Anyone who is interested is encouraged to submit their ideas on the urban design guidelines via a survey on A public display of the design concepts under consideration is scheduled for Sept. 8 at the Hennepin County Environmental Services Building, 417 N. 5th St.

Minneapolis Beer Fest coming in September

DOWNTOWN WEST — Minneapolis’ growing beer enthusiast community has another event to get excited about. The first Minneapolis Beer Fest will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 5 p.m.–9 p.m. The outdoor event will be held at 4th Street South and Portland, rain or shine.

The event features tastings of beers from dozens of breweries, including Minnesotan brands like Brau Brothers, Flat Earth, Finnegans and Summit. Local heavyweights Surly are curiously absent, as are Minneapolis-based Fulton and Harriet Brewing.

In addition to beer tastings, Minneapolis Beer Fest will also feature food trucks and two stages of live music, featuring performances from bands like The 4onthefloor, White Iron Band, Jambo Joe Bones and others.

Fundraiser for a new NE dog park

BELTRAMI — The Beltrami neighborhood is throwing a party on Sept. 17 with live music, a beer garden and a bean bag competition to raise money for a new dog park.

The dog park would be located on 3 acres off of Buchanan Street near Winter and Spring streets northeast, the same spot where a community garden closed several years ago.

The neighborhood would use the old garden fence to provide a separate enclosure for smaller dogs. The plans still require approval from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, and staff estimate that the park would cost $18,000.

To raise money, the neighborhood is selling $20 tickets (redeemed for beanbag games and a t-shirt) to the “Doggie Bags Bean Bag Tournament and Block Party” on Sept. 17. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is setting up a stage for bands, and the Red Stag is obtaining the license to sell alcohol, brats and vegan entrées. A raffle will offer a hefty gift card to Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet, as well as blankets made from Crafty Planet yarn donations.

The day-long event starts at 11 a.m. at Beltrami Park, 1111 Summer St. NE. For more information, visit

Blogger highlights Waite Park

WAITE PARK — A woman on a mission to photograph all 81 neighborhoods in Minneapolis has recently posted a tour of Waite Park on her blog.

Janelle Nivens said she was excited to discover the ALM Café, Hill Valley Boutique and Columbia Gardens at 33rd and Central Avenue.

“It feels like three eclectic little businesses together,” she said. “It’s a nice find.”

She said her favorite stop on the tour, however, was the home of artist Lauri Svedberg. Svedberg’s house is an alternate canvas for her work, and Nivens spent nearly an hour poring over the detailed décor. (The house is often open during Art-A-Whirl.)

Two “tour guides” brought Nivens through Waite Park. One of them was AJ Hokland, a custom sewer whose family has lived in Northeast since the 1860s.

The other guide was Shelly Leeson, an entrepreneur who seized the opportunity to promote Northeast businesses. She dropped by the Ready Meats store at 3550 Johnson St. NE, where the owner devotes money to philanthropy instead of advertising, and Deming Heights Park, which is said to be the highest point in Minneapolis.

“It’s kind of fun to look at your neighborhood through someone else’s eyes,” Leeson said.

The Waite Park tour is available at

Mill City Farmers Market plans benefit dinner in the moonlight

MILL DISTRICT — The Mill City Farmers Market will hold its annual fundraising event on the evening of Sept. 11.

The benefit begins at 4:30 p.m. with a cocktail hour, followed by a dinner prepared by market chefs Nick Schneider and Heater Hartman.

The evening will conclude with moonlit silent auction. For more information, visit