Council Committee Advances Nicollet-Lake Redevelopment

A Minneapolis city council committee has signed off on a plan that could speed the dream many city residents have of re-opening Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street. 
Back in the late 1970’s, a large K-Mart store with a companion parking lot were dropped in the middle of Nicollet Avenue as part of an urban renewal plan.  
Recently, plans to re-shape the area have proposed restoring the street grid to bolster transit in the center of south Minneapolis.  
Action taken by the Community Development Committee, if approved by the full city council, will allow the city to buy properties in the area from willing sellers.  K-Mart's lease expires in the year 2053, so the retailer's cooperation is required if changes are to happen soon.  
K-Mart executives say they support the goal of redeveloping the area and opening Nicollet Avenue.    District Manager Tom Manke noted that the store provides 100 jobs and the company pays about one million dollars a year in sales and employment taxes in Minneapolis.   KFAI's Rico Morales attended the meeting and recorded comments and observations from Council member Lisa Bender, Minneapolis Director of Transit Development David Frank, Mark Hinds, Executive Director of the Lyndale Neighborhood Association, and Manke.
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