2225 East Lake – the big site at southwest Lake and Hiawatha, purchased last Fall by Hennepin County, will be developed over the next 8-12 years in 3-5 separate phases of construction. The first phase is underway and will result in retail spaces fronting Lake Street (replacing the 350 foot concrete retaining wall that had been Corcoran’s “welcome” to the neighborhood) below 4 stories of offices – these will be a Hennepin County family service center where residents can apply for and receive a range of public services.
Behind this Lake Street building, phase 1 will also include a shared parking structure built primarily underground, with the topmost parking at ground level covered with a green roof. This ground level parking will be available to those visiting the Hennepin County center, the retail, and the public plaza (for the Midtown Farmers Market and other public uses) to be constructed immediately east of the parking and immediately west of the light rail station, where the grassy hill and the Midtown Farmers Market will remain for another season.
This shared parking structure will also accommodate residents in 115 new market rate apartment homes that will be built immediately south of the parking as part of phase 1. New privately-owned public streets will be built through the site extending 23rd Avenue north into the site and turning west to connect to 22nd Avenue. Phase 2 will commence once Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) has relocated its Adult Basic Education program out of the one existing building on the site to a new facility just 2 blocks to the west, on Lake Street (more on this below).
Phase 2 will demolish that building and replace it with the public plaza and another new mixed use building on the plaza’s west edge, comprised of commercial space on the ground floor with 5 stories of housing above. Additional phases will result in more housing in 4- to 6-story buildings, bringing the total count of new homes on the site to over 550 by the time development is complete; this total buildout would require developers to acquire and demolish the 2 single family homes at the northeast corner of 22nd Avenue and 31st Street. While the County will own its building including the ground-floor retail, and will likely own the plaza, other development entities will purchase the other portions of land and will own the housing they build. Phase 1 is slated for completion around Summer 2017.
- CNO Board position: CNO supports the County’s development plan with significant conditions, and understanding that the plan responds to the CNO- and City-adopted Corcoran Midtown Revival Plan. CNO also recently adopted a policy defining the diverse mix of housing rents, rental and ownership opportunities, and units for a wide range of household sizes and needs to be built within the overall mix. Learn more about the development, prior public meetings and opinion polls, and find drawings, City approvals, news stories, and related CNO policies at www.corcoranneighborhood.org
3100 Hiawatha – the 2-acre vacant parcel just south and east of 2225 East Lake is being developed by Wellington Management as 141 affordable rental homes within a 4-story building with underground parking below the building for residents. There will be on-street parking for guests along a new privately-owned and maintained public street running parallel with Hiawatha along the rail tracks. A public walk/bike path will run alongside this road connecting pedestrians and cyclists to a path that continues through the 2225 East Lake site to the light rail station and the intersection. According to Wellington, 86 1-bedroom units will rent between $766-855, 35 2-BR units will rent at $914-1027, and 20 3-BR units will cost $1057 – 1185 per month.
Wellington owns significant property in the area and recently completed the new affordable senior housing with ground floor retail on the north side of Lake Street immediately across from 2225 and immediately west of the light rail station. Wellington also owns the Hi-Lake shopping center, the building containing Aldi grocery with housing above it, and the Greenway Building just north of it, formerly called the Eco Enterprise center. The project is slated for completion in 2016.
- CNO Board position: CNO supports Wellington’s development plan and has asked Wellington and the City of Minneapolis to coordinate closely with Hennepin County on development of the public street and bike/walk trail through both of these sites. Learn more about the development, prior public meetings and opinion polls, and find drawings, City approvals, news stories, and CNO policies at www.corcoranneighborhood.org
Adult Basic Education at 21/Lake – as mentioned above, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) will construct a new facility to house its Adult Basic Education program that is currently located in the existing building at 2225 East Lake, and has financial incentives to move out as soon as possible built into its agreement to sell 2225 to Hennepin County. To accomplish this, MPS has purchased a number of properties between East Lake Street, 21st Avenue, 30-½ Street, and 20th Avenue and will soon begin demolishing the remaining buildings on these sites to make way for construction of a new 70,000 square foot facility and structured parking. The facility will also house MPS’ Transitions Plus (T-Plus) program serving autistic youth. The project is slated for completion in mid/late-2018.
- CNO Board position: CNO supports the development concept pending advancement of more detailed plans now underway by MPS. CNO’s Land Use & Housing chair Phillip Koski (a volunteer serving on the CNO Board) will serve on an advisory committee to MPS for the project and has already pushed MPS, with backing from South High and Council Member Alondra Cano, to take a more comprehensive and holistic approach to plan for the use of the acquired land and future needs on the development site and the adjoining South High campus, recognizing that South is thought to be in need of significant modernization and investment.
Get involved in land use planning and decision making in our area. CNO’s Land Use & Housing committee has significant clout with decision makers as evidenced by its role and accomplishments within the projects described above. If you live in Corcoran and show up to a meeting you are a voting member of the committee. Meets on the first Thursday of each month, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at CNO, 3451 Cedar Avenue South. Detailed agendas and reminders are sent out on Corcoran’s E-Democracy bulletin board the week of each meeting – sign up at forums.e-democracy.org. Contact me at email@example.com or 612-724-7457 with any questions.