Kim Eslinger
Editor
612-321-8040
kim@millcitymedia.org

David Tinjum
Publisher
612-321-8020
dave@millcitymedia.org

Susan Schaefer
Reporter/Photographer
susan@millcitymedia.org

Julie Craven
Reporter/Photographer
julie@millcitymedia.org

Joan Bennett
Reporter/Columnist
joan@millcitymedia.org 

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits
claudia@millcitymedia.org 

Doug Verdier
Contributor 

Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Sunday
Apr232017

Development of 'Downtown View' Officially Underway with April 18 Groundbreaking Ceremony

Article by Claudia Kittock

YouthLink is a special place, run by amazing people, and headed by the indomitable Dr. Frances Huseby.  I first heard of Dr. Huseby at meetings about people experiencing homelessness. Everyone I met talked with great awe about the work she was doing at YouthLink.

When I was a director at DMNA, we provided funds to add additional staff at YouthLink. Dr. Heather came to DMNA to talk about YouthLink and she mentioned the dream of adding living quarters to the drop-in center.  That dream is becoming a reality, and on Tuesday, April 18, ground was broken for the beginning of the Downtown View project.

Ceremonial candle lighting signified the "Ignite Change in the Lives of Youth" campaign. Submitted photo.

The Downtown View, featuring 46 units of supportive housing for youth ages 18–24 experiencing homelessness, is part of a comprehensive campaign,"Ignite Change in the Lives of Youth", that also includes an investment in YouthLink’s current facility and programs. This development fills a critical need of housing for youth experiencing homelessness, and connects them to the essential skills and pathways needed to succeed in the 21st century economy. The plan is to house youth in sections that are related to their life goals, much like a dormitory setting.

Photo credit Rick Kittock

Photo credit Rick Kittock

Ignite Change is about more than just bricks and mortar. It’s about creating a holistic, positive, vibrant community that makes it possible for youth to engage with new opportunities, broaden their horizons, and build self-esteem. It’s about inclusiveness, innovation, and connectivity - to the Youth Opportunity Center partner services, transformative programming in education and employment, and connection to the broader community through mentorship and job placement.

This is an exciting project, but there are still ways to invest in the lives of young people:

  • Learn more!       
  • Donate. Make an investment in YouthLink’s annual programs and services, or designate your gift to the campaign.
  • We’d love to show you around YouthLink and the Youth Opportunity Center. Contact us to schedule a visit today.
  • Invite a speaker. Inviting a staff member or youth speaker to speak to your group is a great way to introduce others to the work we do. You won’t be sorry. These young people are incredible and listening to their stories will change you.
  • Advocate.
  • Get Involved. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities.
Photo credit Rick Kittock

= = = = =

About Downtown View

Downtown View, a $17 million, five-story partner development project with YouthLink and Project for Pride in Living (PPL) will begin construction next week to provide 46 units of high quality housing and supportive services for youth experiencing homelessness, ages 18 – 24.  YouthLink, which serves more than 2,000 homeless youth every year, can change the life trajectory for youth experiencing homelessness by connecting them to housing, education, employment, mental and physical health support, and other resources that eliminate suffering and dependence on social services. 

On any given night, 6,000 young people are experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. Downtown View will support this population by providing critical units of housing and collaborating with nearly 30 agencies working to end youth homelessness. By transforming the individual lives of young people experiencing homelessness, Downtown View will contribute in a significant and measurable way to reducing disparities, lowering social-service costs, and improving the workforce outlook across the Twin Cities region. 

Downtown View, which will connect to YouthLink’s existing Minneapolis headquarters, will provide a unique resource to residents in three key ways: by serving older youth; by focusing services on youths’ long-term goals; and by utilizing the wealth of services offered in YouthLink’s existing Youth Opportunity Center. The development will also include a Career Pathways Center, a resident fitness area, access to mental health support, and employment/education navigation.

All of the $11.8 million in public funding has been secured to complement YouthLink’s $6 million comprehensive campaign, which includes a lead gift of $500,000 from the Pohlad Family Foundation.  Other major donations include: Buuck Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, The Patrick & Aimee Butler Family Foundation, Ronald and Joan Cornwell, and the John and Denise Graves Family Foundation.

Saturday
Apr222017

Neighborhood Clean-Up with Friends of the Mill District and Cynthia Froid Group

Friends of the Mill District and Cynthia Froid Group got a jump on Earth Day with an April 20 neighborhood clean up event. Special thanks to MSR and Stone Arch Creative for sending staff to help, as well as the neighborhood residents who joined us!

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group

Manu Gallur of Green Stick Army provided these handy garbage nabbers to assure a fun, efficient (and hygienic!) event. You may have met Manu at the Mill City Farmers Market last September, and have probably seen people out using the Green Sticks (I saw a DID staffer with one while walking home from the US Bank station a few weeks ago).

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Thank You to Izzy's for treating participants to gift certificates!
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group
Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid GroupKen Searl and Cynthia Froid, two of our favorite Mill District champions!

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group

Neighborhood Clean Up - Friends of the Mill District & Cynthia Froid Group

We look forward to making this an annual event, and hope you can join us next year! :D 

Friday
Apr212017

City of Minneapolis Traffic Alerts Update

Lane closures on Eighth Street South at Nicollet Mall and I-94 ramp closures

Two south lanes on Eighth Street South at Nicollet Mall will close Wednesday, April 26 through June 5. The Eighth Street lane closures will help crews reconstruct the Eighth Street intersection for the Nicollet Mall Project.

Also, two lanes of traffic on the north side of Sixth Street are currently open for traffic. Always watch out for construction crews and possible traffic congestion during any road projects or street/lane closures.

Click on the link below to see all downtown construction for the 2017 season.  By clicking on the colored lines or boxes, you will get information regarding project names, contractors, type of closures, and estimated start/end times.

Street Closures Due to Projects and Events

Few I-94 ramps in Minneapolis to close for up to two weeks beginning April 24

Minnesota Department of Transportation is alerting the public to the following ramp closures along I-94 in Minneapolis over the next two weeks:

• The Hennepin/Lyndale Avenue ramp from westbound I-94 to Hennepin/Lyndale will close April 24 for 10 days.
• The Hennepin/Lyndale Avenue ramp from westbound I-94 to southbound Lyndale will close April 24 for two weeks.
• The ramp from East 16th Street/Fourth Avenue South to westbound I-94 will also close for 10 days. The detour for both closures is 11th Street to Hennepin Avenue.

Click here for more information about these closures or other lane closures related to the I-94 project.

Friday
Apr212017

City Pages Best Of 2017 Includes Long List of Local Favorites

Here's a sample of the local favorites from City Pages Best the 2017:

Best Bookstore (New) Milkweed Books
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/arts-and-culture/milkweed-books/419716744

Best Clothing Store (Men) Martin Patrick 3
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/city-life/martin-patrick-3/419535713

Best Dance Night All 90s Dance Night at Honey
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/city-life/all-90s-dance-night-at-honey/419541323

Best Hotel Hewing Hotel
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/city-life/hewing-hotel/419539333

Best Outdoors Store Midwest Mountaineering
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/city-life/midwest-mountaineering/419537793

Best Public Park Father Hennepin Bluff Park
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/city-life/father-hennepin-bluff-park/419539873

Best Vintage Store The Golden Pearl Vintage
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/city-life/the-golden-pearl-vintage/419536473

Best Place to Buy a Gift i like you/i like you too
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/city-life/i-like-youi-like-you-too/419537263

Best Biscuits Chef Shack Ranch
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/chef-shack-ranch/419540133

Best Cafe The Bachelor Farmer Cafe
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/the-bachelor-farmer-cafe/419536693

Best Coffee Shop Penny's Coffee
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/pennys-coffee/419537183

Best Distillery Norseman Distillery
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/norseman-distillery/419540713

Best Fancy Dessert Spoon and Stable
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/spoon-and-stable/419542573

Best Fine Dining Sanctuary
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/sanctuary/419542523

Best Fancy Pizza Pizza Nea
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/pizza-nea/419538913

Best Indian Gorkha Palace
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/gorkha-palace/419541313

Best Happy Hour, Late Night Red Rabbit (also received Best Happy Hour After Work)
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/red-rabbit/419540183

Best New Restaurant Young Joni
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/young-joni/419542973

Best Patio Jefe Urban Hacienda
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/jefe-urban-hacienda/419542063

Best Place to Buy Local Foods Food Building
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/food-building/419540483

Best Restaurant, Minneapolis Alma
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/alma/419542733

Best Sushi PinKU
http://www.citypages.com/best-of/2017/food-and-drink/pinku/419541643

 

Thursday
Apr202017

The Shops of the North Loop present The North Loop Spring Fashion Crawl, May 6 

The Shops of the North Loop present The North Loop Spring Fashion Crawl on Saturday, May 6 from 10:00am-7:00pm. Receive a passport card at your first destination for your chance to win fabulous prizes.     

Schedule of Events:
11:00am-2:00pm: On-site food trucks
11:30am: Flash mob sponsored by Minnesota Dance Theatre and School
All day complimentary fitness classes sponsored by Alchemy365
  8:00am-1:00pm: Open house with $5 classes sponsored by DharmaCycle Yoga
12:30pm-2:00pm: Discount cards from neighborhood sponsors passed out by North Loop street team

Links
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/shopsofthenorthloop
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/145977015934229
Flash Mob: https://northloopflashmob.eventbrite.com/

Wednesday
Apr192017

Hennepin County Works Year-round to Conserve Energy and Resources

Via an April 19 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Hennepin County works year-round to conserve energy and resources

This Earth Day, Hennepin County highlights four focus areas that staff are implementing to help protect the environment.
 
Powering with renewable solar energy

Hennepin County is one of 31 local governments in the Twin Cities metro area that are investing in solar energy through community solar gardens. The solar gardens will be constructed later this summer. Once they are up and running, Hennepin County will subscribe to eight solar gardens that will produce 3.7 million kWh of electricity annually. That’s equivalent to powering 400 homes or 4 percent of Hennepin County’s energy use.

This project recently won the 2017 Environmental Initiative Awards in the community action category.

Reducing energy use in county buildings

Hennepin County’s largest energy user is our buildings. In 2013, Hennepin County created a goal to reduce energy use in our buildings 20 percent by 2020—3 percent each year over 7 years. The county is on track to meet this goal, but will need to continue to prioritize conservation and efficiency. Success by 2020 means saving enough energy annually to power 35 out of our 41 Hennepin County libraries for the entire year.

Hennepin County uses a variety of technologies to save energy, including approximately 200,000 sensors inside buildings to monitor energy use. These sensors alert staff when there is a problem, saving about $1 million each year.

Nearly half of the county’s energy use is for heating and cooling buildings. Energy recovery wheels are used to return 70 percent of exhausted heat back into the building. LED lighting saves 60 percent of energy over standard lighting. Staff work behind the scenes to improve efficiencies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a daily basis.

Fighting emerald ash borer

Ash trees are threatened by emerald ash borer, an invasive tree pest from Asia. In Hennepin County alone, there are more than 1 million ash trees in yards, parks and streets. That’s about 15 percent of the tree canopy. Hennepin County is responding to the emerald ash borer threat by:

• Proactively removing and replacing ash trees.
• Inventorying and monitoring trees
• Diversifying trees in our communities

The county offers information about how to identify ash trees, sign of emerald ash borer, and options for managing ash trees.

Trees are an integral part of the natural resources system and provide numerous benefits including conserving energy, managing stormwater, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, filtering air, alleviating the urban heat-island effect, creating habitat, and enhancing the local food supply.

Reducing waste

Hennepin County is a national leader in recycling. In 2016, 82 percent of the waste generated in Hennepin County was diverted from landfills and reused, recycled, composted, or burned to create energy.

New initiatives include the Zero Waste Challenge, promoting food waste prevention, adding a recycling option for non-reusable clothing and linens at the county’s drop-off facilities, and expanding a reuse program at apartment buildings to collect furniture and other household goods.

These new initiatives complement the existing programs that continue to be strong include Master Recycler/Composter volunteers, Fix-It Clinics, recycling grants, medicine collection and environmental education.

Learn more about our latest recycling efforts in the 2016 Recycling Progress Report.

Tuesday
Apr182017

Mill City Summer Opera Announces 2017 Dates and Venue for Maria de Buenos Aires

Mill City Summer Opera’s Maria de Buenos Aires Unveils a Cast of Acclaimed Performers to Heat Up Minneapolis
National cast and creative team includes the dynamic opera tango duo of Catalina Cuervo, Luis Orozco

The sultry lament of the bandoneon, the thrilling atmosphere, alluring tango dancers, and a wildly acclaimed cast new to Twin Cities opera audiences, will take the stage for Mill City Summer Opera’s 2017 chosen production Maria de Buenos Aires, by famed tango composer, Astor Piazzolla.

MCSO today unveiled the stellar cast and creative team for this year’s production, including the key casting of Colombian soprano Catalina Cuervo in the leading role of Maria. As Maria, Cuervo has performed the role worldwide and is often referred to as the Fiery Soprano. Starring with her is baritone Luis Alejandro Orozco who has been hailed for his vocal and dramatic presence in the signature role of El Payador.

“Pairing Cuervo with Orozco in the heat of a Minnesota summer will be the hottest ticket in town this year; together they are the ideal duo to marry opera with tango,” notes returning artistic director David Lefkowich. “Dance is at the heart of this opera, so we will be integrating dancers as part of the cast for the first time in MCSO history.”

Opening night is Friday, July 14, with additional performances July 16, 18, 19 and 20.

With a ticket to the opera, attendees will be guided through dance instruction by professional tango dancers prior to the performance. After watching the tango performed as part of the opera performance, those that wish may join in the be dance with the cast to the splendid music that compliments the dangerous dance that is the TANGO.

Doors open at 7:00pm with tango dancing, the show begins at 8:00pm and more tango dancing at 9:30pm.

Opening night ticket purchases are available now, presale ticket purchases begin May 8, and all ticket purchases will be available May 15.

In light of the Ruins Courtyard’s extensive renovation throughout the Summer of 2017, MCSO is taking the opera across the Stone Arch Bridge for our sixth season. The shift in venue to the Machine Shop, 300 2nd Street SE, is temporary as restoration work continues in the Ruins Courtyard.

For more information visit http://www.millcitysummeropera.org/.

Tuesday
Apr182017

RSVP for April 29 Abiitan Mill City Grand Opening Event

Abiitan Mill City, downtown's first premier 55+ living community at 428 S 2nd Street, will host a Grand Opening celebration on April 29 from 1-4pm. Enjoy some great company and food while touring Abiitan's apartments and amenities, and learn about their upscale features and award-winning Memory Care services. RSVP Online

Monday
Apr172017

Hennepin County Has More Than 650 Miles of Bikeways

A recent e-newsletter from Hennepin County included a reminder that May is Bike Month, and Hennepin County has more than 650 miles of bikeways that connect people with places they want to go. Visit the Ride Hennepin website for tips, events and an interactive county bike map.

Sunday
Apr162017

Bushel & Peck - Tasty New Brunch/Lunch Option in the Mill City Museum

If you've visited the Mill City Museum this month, you may have noticed D'Amico's is now Bushel & Peck, a new café part of the D'Amico family where you'll find healthy cuisine created from farm-fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Bushel & Peck

Members of the B & P team (left to right) Sarah, Zack, Will, Maryah and Maddy the weekend manager.

The Bushel & Peck staff is welcoming and accommodating, and you'll find the updated seating area comfortable. It's modern, yet fits in with its historic surroundings.

Bushel & Peck

The weekend brunch menu includes seasonal mimosas and the Bushel Bloody Mary. The BBM has a kick, and I'll take a Brussels sprout garnish over celery any day! Wine and beer are also available.

Bushel & Peck

Bushel & PeckService with a smile - Maryah delivers our order of Avocado Toast.

I would happily enjoy everything on the menu, but on this visit we opted for the Avocado Toast, Bushel Burger and Eggs Benedict. (Next time it will be Swedish Pancakes and Farmers Market Frittata for sure!)

Bushel & Peck

Bushel & Peck

Bushel & PeckAs a member of the "clean your plate" club, I appreciate the portion size. These dishes are in tune with what the average person should have for a meal.

As luck would have it, Chef Josh Brown was in the house and generously took time from his busy schedule to chat with us. He shared his philosophy for creating delicious dishes with a limited number of quality ingredients. As an example, the avocado spread on the Avocado Toast has only a few ingredients, but wow, so much flavor!

Bushel & Peck is open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am - 4:30pm; Sundays Noon - 4:30pm. They will also be open Mondays in July and August.

Click here for additional pictures, taken by local photographer Katrina Hannemann. Stay tuned - a Press Release is coming out this week. In the mean time, check out the menu!

Saturday
Apr152017

Catch the zAmya Theater Showcase 'Portraits: Looking Forward, Looking Back' at Central Library April 19 and 23

Article by Claudia Kittock

zAmya Theater Showcase - Portraits: Looking Forward, Looking Back

If you haven't been to a zAmya performance, you are in for a treat. zAmya Theater Project is a unique creative process that brings together homeless and housed individuals to create and perform a theatrical production. zAmya turns “homeless” from a word back into a person, or persons. These are living, breathing, laughing, singing persons who act — yes, act — in entertaining, genre-defying productions that are guaranteed to change your mind, if not your life.

Please join zAmya at the Minneapolis Central Library on April 19 at 6:30pm or on April 23 at 3:00pm for a performance of their new production, Portraits: Looking Forward, Looking Back. The performances are free and open to the public. Get out your date books!

Claudia can be reached at claudia@millcitymedia.org

Friday
Apr142017

Section of West River Parkway "Trail" (not the road) Will be Closed Monday-Friday Next 2 Weeks


Closure necessary for repair and preventative maintenance on Guthrie Theater Endless Bridge

West River Parkway Trail will be closed between Portland Avenue and 11th Avenue S, Monday-Friday over the next two weeks. The closure is necessary for repair and preventative maintenance on the Guthrie Theater's Endless Bridge, which juts out over the parkway and trail.

The parkway will remain open to motorized traffic. Trail users will be detoured west to 2nd Street. The trail closure begins Monday morning, April 17 and will continue until Friday evening, April 21. The closure will be suspended over the weekend and resume Monday morning, April 24 until work is completed later that week.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board appreciates the public's patience while this project is completed.

Friday
Apr142017

Washington Avenue Reconstruction Update

Via an April 14 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Washington 04.2017

Crews continue replacing storm sewer pipes and watermains underneath the roadway. Additional utility crews will be relocating telecommunications, gas and electric utilities in the project area. Curb and gutter concrete will be poured at 3rd Avenue this week.

New work at two intersections:

2nd Avenue South work begins
Beginning Tuesday, April 18, crews will begin working on the east side of 2nd Avenue South. Crews will be closing 2nd Avenue South between 3rd Street South and Washington Avenue to all through traffic, except buses. Weather permitting, this closure will last approximately four weeks.

Marquette Avenue work begins
Also beginning Tuesday, April 18, crews will begin working on the east side of Marquette Avenue. Crews will be closing Marquette Avenue between 3rd Street South and Washington Avenue to all through traffic. Southbound bus traffic will not be affected. There will be no street parking on the east side of this block during this work. This closure will last approximately three weeks, weather permitting.

Interim alternate routes
The closures on 2nd Avenue South and Marquette Avenue will not affect traffic on 3rd Avenue South or Hennepin Avenue South. These closures are necessary to remove and replace curbs and gutters, pavement, and relocate/install new underground utilities.

Get more information
Contact the project at washingtonave@hennepin.us or 612-543-3722.

Friday
Apr142017

Help Plan Upcoming Improvements at Sheridan Memorial Park!

Sheridan Memorial Park centers on a 30-foot diameter sculpture by local artist Robert Smart.  

Project will add picnic shelter, playground and pathways to riverfront park in 2018

Sheridan Memorial Park will receive more than $1 million in park improvements in 2018, including a picnic shelter, playground and pathways. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is hosting three community meetings over the next few months to gather public feedback that will help shape the project.

The first meeting is Wednesday, April 26, 2017, 6-8 pm at East Side Neighborhood Services (ESNS), 1700 2nd St. NE. At the meeting, interested community members and park users will receive a project overview and be asked preferences regarding various project elements.

At the second meeting, scheduled Wednesday, May 24, 2017, 6-8 pm at ESNS, up to three alternatives will be unveiled for site layout and the building and playground design. At the third meeting, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, also 6-8 at ESNS, the preferred design option will be presented and discussed.

Concept approval by MPRB Commissioners is scheduled for fall 2017 following a public hearing. Construction bids will be awarded over winter 2017-2018 and the park improvements will be built during spring-summer 2018.

Some site work will occur at the park in the coming months in preparation for 2018 construction, including soil cleanup at the park paid for through a Hennepin County Environmental Response Fund grant.

2014 Sheridan Riverfront FestivalA scene from the 2014 Sheridan Riverfront Festival

Public Meetings:

 

Meeting #1

  Date: April 26, 2017
  Time: 6-8 pm
  Location: East Side Neighborhood Services
  Address: 1700 2nd St. NE
  Topic: Project overview and discuss community preferences

Meeting #2

  Date: May 24, 2017

  Time: 6-8 pm

  Location: East Side Neighborhood Services

  Address: 1700 2nd St. NE

  Topic: Design alternatives unveiled and discussed

Meeting #3

  Date: June 21, 2017

  Time: 6-8 pm

  Location: East Side Neighborhood Services

  Address: 1700 2nd St. NE

  Topic: Discuss preferred design option

Friday
Apr142017

Minneapolis City Council Approves New $1.5 Million Fund to Preserve Affordable Housing

Via an April 14 News Release from the City of Minneapolis:

Today, the City Council approved $1.5 million for the Minneapolis Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) Preservation Fund to assist non-profit housing providers to acquire and preserve NOAH rental property in Minneapolis. 

NOAH generally refers to unsubsidized multifamily rental housing affordable to households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income ($51,480 for a family of four.)  Rents in NOAH units average between $550 and $1,200 per month. Minneapolis has about 23 percent of the NOAH units in the seven-county metropolitan area, or about 38,000 units.  The strong real estate market and low rental vacancy rate (2.7% regionally) has made these properties more attractive to investors, leading to increased sales, higher rents and displacement of tenants who cannot afford increased rents.

“Housing is a basic human right,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “I’m proud to have led this innovative approach to help ensure we stop losing more affordable housing than we can build, and I’m thankful to the Council for helping make this investment a reality.”

“We need to do what we can to stop the unnecessary displacement of tenants when affordable housing is sold specifically to upgrade units and mark up rent,” said Council Member Lisa Goodman, Chair of Community Development Y Regulatory Services Committee.  “Assisting buyers who actually care about low income tenants and support affordable housing preservation to purchase these buildings and preserve them is critical right now given the crisis in affordable housing availability.”

Minneapolis has experienced a disproportionate share of these sales.  In 2016, Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) released Sold Out, a report stating from 2010-2015, Minneapolis saw the greatest number of apartment property sales compared to all other communities in the metropolitan region:  355 property sales comprising 10,512 units.  This represents 41% of all apartment sales in the metro region during that period.

In Minneapolis, approximately 53% of residents live in rental housing and about half of them are considered “cost burdened,” meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on rent.  Over the last decade, the City of Minneapolis has led the region in both its investment in and production and preservation of affordable housing units.  Still, there are about 10,000 fewer rental housing units in the city affordable to low-income households than there were in 2000, and cost burden rates for low income renters have increased from 64% to 74%.

In response to this affordable housing crisis, the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, with the support of the McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Housing, Hennepin County, and private investors, launched a new regional $25 million affordable housing impact fund, or the NOAH Impact Fund, in 2017.  The NOAH Impact Fund provides a source of funds for socially minded owner-operators to acquire and preserve the affordability of NOAH properties.  

To further help socially minded developers and preserve/create affordable housing in Minneapolis, in 2016, the City approved changes to its investment policy to permit investment in mortgage backed securities issued by Freddie Mac where the underlying mortgages are for NOAH properties located in Minneapolis.  Minneapolis’ investment in these securities would result in lower interest rate financing for purchasers of NOAH properties.

Also in 2016, Freddie Mac Multifamily launched a pilot initiative in collaboration with NorthMarq Capital, Mercy Housing, CommonBond Communities, and National Housing Trust (NHTCDF) to match nonprofit housing providers with socially conscious investors to finance NOAH acquisitions.

The Minneapolis NOAH Preservation Fund of $1.5 million directly supports the efforts of the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund NOAH Impact Fund of $25 million and Freddie Mac pilot program. Non-profit housing providers working with these initiatives are eligible to request funds from the Minneapolis NOAH Impact Fund.

Friday
Apr142017

Road Closures for Saturday, April 15, Hot Chocolate 5K/15K

The following roads will be closed from 7:30am-12pm for the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K:

SE Main Street
Stone Arch Bridge
West River Parkway - from Plymouth Ave to E 27th St.

Click here for the full course map and additional info on this event.

 

Thursday
Apr132017

Water Works Park Update: Community Invited to View Water Works Design Progress

Two open houses will be held on Monday, May 1, 5:30-8pm, at Mill City Museum, and Tuesday, May 2, 11:30am-1:30pm, at the Water Works site

RSVP for the May 1 Event...

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation are hosting two community open houses to inform the public about progress on the Water Works project. Water Works is a transformative park development project adjacent to St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge that will bring significant new historic, cultural, and recreational amenities to the most iconic location in Minneapolis and the region. The open houses will be held 6-8pm, Monday, May 1, at Mill City Museum, and 11:30am-1:30pm, Tuesday, May 2, at the Water Works site.

In 2016, the Minneapolis Park Board retained, in partnership with the Parks Foundation, a multi-disciplinary design team headed by Damon Farber Landscape Architects and HGA Architects to complete schematic design through construction administration for phase one of the Water Works project, known as the Mezzanine Phase. The 106 Group, a cultural resources consultant, has been working with the design team on identifying significant historical and architectural resources on the site. Construction is slated to begin in 2018, with completion in 2019.

Water Works open house agendas

At both open houses, community members will be able to see updated designs and hear from Park Board and Parks Foundation staff and the design team. Registration is not required for either public meeting.

The Monday, May 1, open house will begin at 6pm and be preceded by a walking tour of the Water Works site at 5:30. Following the tour, the meeting will proceed with a presentation by Park Board and Parks Foundation staff and design team members, followed by one-on-one discussion and opportunities to comment on the designs.

The Tuesday, May 2, meeting will have no prepared presentation. Community members are invited to stop by and speak with staff and designers, view the designs, and share their comments. In case of inclement weather, the alternate location for the May 2 meeting is the Crown Roller Building, First Floor Innovation Room, 105 S 5th Ave, Minneapolis.

RSVP for the May 1 Event...

Wednesday
Apr122017

Prince Tribute Book 'Dig if You Will the Picture' Event April 20 at Minneapolis Visitor Information

Via an April 12 e-newsletter from Meet Minneapolis:

Dig if You Will the Picture, tribute to Prince, cover artist book signing April 20

A year has come and gone since the passing of Prince, Minneapolis’ most beloved musical legend. In his honor, New York Times bestselling author Ben Greenman has penned a beautiful biography on the life of the late pop sensation, titled Dig if You Will the Picture. The cover art for the book, which surely had to be as vibrant as Prince himself, was created by local Minneapolis artist, Kristi Abbott. Both the book and cover are a unique and kaleidoscopic look into the life, legacy, and electricity of the pop legend and his wide-ranging impact on our culture.
 
From 3-6 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, Prince fans are invited to a special book signing with Abbott. Copies of the book will be available along with prints of the cover, pint glasses, and an assortment of other products for the public to both purchase and have signed by Abbott. Snacks and light refreshments will be available. Hosted by Love From Minneapolis, the event will take place at Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet, 505 Nicollet Mall Suite 100.
 
Steve Noonan, a former sound engineer for Prince, will play original music during the event.
 
ABOUT MEET MINNEAPOLIS
 
Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit to the greater Minneapolis area.
 
Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destination Marketing Association International.
 
CONNECT MEET MINNEAPOLIS!
Online: http://www.minneapolis.org/ and for deals & exclusive experiences: http://go.minneapolis.org/
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#askMPLS: Use this hashtag to get answers to all your Minneapolis questions from our team

Wednesday
Apr122017

My North Series - 52 Minnesota Stories Leading up to the 2018 Super Bowl (Episodes 6-10)

Count down to Super Bowl 52 with this weekly video series of 52 love letters to Minnesota from notable Minnesotans. My North is an editorial video series created by Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and presented by Explore Minnesota. Hear from tastemakers and stylemakers. Artists and athletes. Authors and entertainers. These are their odes to the state they love. Below are episodes 6-10 - click here to see more

Tuesday
Apr112017

Construction to Begin on Downtown View, a 5-Story Housing Development in Mpls for Homeless Youth

 

Via an April 10 News Release:

 

New 46-unit housing development in downtown Minneapolis aims to transform lives of homeless youth 

5-story YouthLink & PPL partner project to provide housing and services for youth, 18 - 24

 

Downtown View, a $17 million, five-story partner development project with YouthLink and Project for Pride in Living (PPL) will begin construction next week to provide 46 units of high quality housing and supportive services for youth experiencing homelessness, ages 18 – 24.  YouthLink, which serves more than 2,000 homeless youth every year, can change the life trajectory for youth experiencing homelessness by connecting them to housing, education, employment, mental and physical health support, and other resources that eliminate suffering and dependence on social services.

  

On any given night, 6,000 young people are experiencing homelessness in Minnesota. Downtown View will support this population by providing critical units of housing and collaborating with nearly 30 agencies working to end youth homelessness. By transforming the individual lives of young people experiencing homelessness, Downtown View will contribute in a significant and measurable way to reducing disparities, lowering social-service costs, and improving the workforce outlook across the Twin Cities region. 

 

Downtown View, which will connect to YouthLink’s existing Minneapolis headquarters, will provide a unique resource to residents in three key ways: by serving older youth; by focusing services on youths’ long-term goals; and by utilizing the wealth of services offered in YouthLink’s existing Youth Opportunity Center. The development will also include a Career Pathways Center, a resident fitness area, access to mental health support, and employment/education navigation.

 

All of the $11.8 million in public funding has been secured to complement YouthLink’s $6 million comprehensive campaign, which includes a lead gift of $500,000 from the Pohlad Family Foundation.  Other major donations include: Buuck Family Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation, Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association, The Patrick & Aimee Butler Family Foundation, Ronald and Joan Cornwell, and the John and Denise Graves Family Foundation.

 

“We know investing in young people experiencing homelessness has long-term positive outcomes for both the young person and for our community,” says Dr. Heather Huseby, executive director of YouthLink.  “With the creation of 46 much-needed units of safe, supportive housing, expansion of the Youth Opportunity center, and a Career Pathways Center, we will increase economic and education opportunities and equity for young people.”

 

Designed by UrbanWorks Architecture, the unique housing project will be developed by PPL and built by Greiner Construction.  Groundbreaking ceremonies will be held at 4:00 p.m., Tuesday April 18 at the new site, located at 41 N. 12th St. in downtown Minneapolis.

 

Construction is expected to be completed by late 2017 before cold weather season begins.

 

About YouthLink

For over 40 years, YouthLink has provided a safe and supportive refuge, along with the resources needed by young people experiencing homelessness. Last year, more than 2,200 young people from the Twin Cities accessed YouthLink—which is also home of the Youth Opportunity Center (YOC)—in downtown Minneapolis. At the YOC, YouthLink and over 30 community partner agencies come together to provide a holistic array of services to help young people become educated, employable, and stably housed.

 

About Project for Pride in Living 

Founded in 1972, Project for Pride in Living (PPL) empowers thousands of individuals and families with lower incomes to reach self-reliance through affordable housing, employment readiness and job placement. We work together with participants to create vibrant, equitable, and diverse communities filled with residents who have achieved stability and are contributing to the regional economy. Last year alone, more than 14,200 people moved into affordable housing, earned higher incomes, improved their academic skills and gained economic independence with the help of PPL.

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