COMMUNITY NOTEBOOK // Target buys property on Nicollet Mall

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October 10, 2011
By: Jeremy Zoss & Drew Kerr
Jeremy Zoss & Drew Kerr

NICOLLET MALL — Target Corp. has confirmed it has purchased several parcels near its headquarters at 1000 Nicollet Mall. The properties are 1001 Nicollet Mall, 81 10th St. S. and 87 10th St. S. The company has not commented on how it plans to use the property.

“Target has no immediate plans for the locations but is always looking to provide new opportunities to support Target’s long-term growth,” said Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman.

Target also purchased the former Church of Scientology location at 1013 Nicollet Mall in late 2010. The 1001 Nicollet Mall site has once been considered for a 50-story condo tower called The Nicollet.

Organizers of ‘Big Gay Race’ raising money to fight proposed gay marriage ban

RIVERFRONT — Two runners are trying to make a difference in the upcoming battle over marriage equality.

Organized by Northeast residents Jacob and Michelle Frey, The Big Gay Race is a 5K run/walk event intended to raise money and awareness for Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition working to defeat that constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Scheduled for 9 a.m. on Oct. 15, The Big Gay Race will start at St. Anthony Main in front of Wilde Roast Café, cross the Stone Arch Bridge, turn around near Plymouth Avenue and head back to St. Anthony Main.

Frey stresses that the race is open to people and families of all fitness levels. “This is not a race in the common sense. Seventy percent of the people will be walking,” said Frey. “At lot of people will be bringing strollers. The family aspect of this we really want to emphasize. It encompasses every idea of what the idea of family is about.”

The Freys met as professional runners competing in the Twin Cities Marathon. Both liked Minneapolis and decided to relocate here after they married. Jacob Frey, now a lawyer for Faegre & Benson, saw the 5K as a way to blend his pro bono work with his running background.

“I was looking at the Legislature and it was pretty evident that this thing was going to pass through, said Jacob Frey. “We thought it would be nice to have something to be excited for after this disgusting amendment gets on the ballot. So we thought about it and we set up The Big Gay Race.”

Frey expects upward of 1,000 people to participate, with many more watching. Participants have signed up from all parts of the state, and more sign up every day. The proceeds from the race’s registration fees will go to Minnesotans United for All Families, which helped the Freys manage some of the administrative aspects of the event.

Frey views his opposition to the amendment as a simple matter of right and wrong, and feels that the tide of public opinion has turned on the matter.

“The result is inevitable. Gay people will be able to marry each other at some point,” said Frey. “… It’s not just about marriage equality. It’s about contribution to society. You contribute more to society when you have a teammate.”

More bike improvements

A host of bicycling improvements have been completed throughout the city, including projects in downtown and Northeast and a new bike center at the University of Minnesota.

In downtown, the Hiawatha Light Rail Trail has been extended onto bike lanes on 3rd and 4th Streets south. New bike lanes have also been added to 15th and 16th streets. “Advisory bike lanes” on 14th Street now connect Loring Park to existing bike lanes on 11th Avenue South.

In Northeast, a new bike route on 5th Street NE and 5th Street SE extends from Dinkytown to 26th Avenue NE. The new 22nd Avenue bicycle boulevard stretches from Marshall Street NE to New Brighton Boulevard. At the University, a new bike center in the Oak Street Parking Ramp has opened and includes 24-hour secure bike storage, retail, showers and changing areas.

Affordable housing development planned near Metrodome

DOWNTOWN EAST — Local nonprofit developer RS Eden has revealed plans for an $18 million affordable housing development at 822 3rd St. S., a site situated next to the Metrodome light-rail stop.

The project calls for rehabbing an existing 1900s-era building as well as building a new five-story structure on the adjacent surface parking lot.

As with the developer’s other projects the new development, called Emanuel Housing, will be a sober living community. “Our expectation is always that people will live sober and will move towards self-sufficiency while they’re with us, and those are both expectations that are part of their lease agreement,” said RS Eden President Dan Cain. “All of our housing is sober supportive housing. We expect people to live sober and to work, and we provide services so they can meet that expectation. We’re just thrilled about this one.”

Groundbreaking on Emanuel Housing, named for late RS Eden employee Scotty Emanuel, is scheduled for February 2012. The plan calls for 101 residential units, most of which will be affordable efficiencies. Some retail/office space will be included as well. The former owners of the building, the Council on Crime and Justice, will maintain its offices in the building.

New details emerge on Dock Street Apartments

NORTH LOOP — Additional details have been revealed for the Dock Street Residential project, a development at the site of a surface parking lot near Target Field.

The site, a parking lot at 333 Washington Ave. N., could become home to a mixed-use building with 185 residential units and 21,500 square feet of commercial space, said David Graham of Elness Swenson Graham Architects. His firm has been hired to design the project by Hines, the developer backing the project.

The six-story structure would include a two-and-a-half story parking deck below the main structure. The site slopes down significantly from Washington Avenue down to Third street, and lower level of the Dock Street building will border the Cedar Lake Trail.

Renderings of the project showed a clean-lined building designed to fit in with older buildings in the Warehouse District without looking deliberately retro. “This building bridges the gap between the Warehouse District and North Loop,” Graham said.

Neighborhoodfest returns for a ninth year

NICOLLET ISLAND — Residents of the city’s 3rd Ward are encouraged to attend the ninth annual Neighborhoodfest, which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

The event will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Nicollet Island Pavilion, 40 Power St. It’s intended to spotlight local businesses, nonprofits and other community organizations and resources. Food and music will also be a part of the festivities.

Have a happy hour with the Journal team!

We’re celebrating our one-year anniversary of expanding into NE Minneapolis. We’re so appreciative of the opportunity to cover the wonderful neighborhoods in Northeast in addition to those in the downtown area. We’re having a happy hour at Nye’s Polonaise Room, 112 E. Hennepin Ave., on Thursday, Oct. 20, 4–6 p.m. Swing by and say hello!