Have you Ever Heard of a "Tight Diamond?"

 

If you’re anything like me, you probably assumed I am referring to a lyric from a Prince song. As it turns out, it’s actually an engineering term to describe a type of traffic interchange. The reason I’m telling you all this is because a “tight diamond” is currently the preferred redesign approach to the Hiawatha – Lake Street intersection.

As someone who is fired up about improving this node, I find this to be really exciting! Engineering means design change, and design change means construction, and construction means physically reconfiguring the Hi-Lake intersection for pedestrians and cars alike!

Of course there is that pesky issue of funding these changes, but I feel momentum building, and I want you to hear from those who know their engineering from their R&B lyrics.

So, I invite you to look for invitations and public meetings in the coming months as the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, MNDOT and Metro Transit works to engage the community in this discussion.

In the meantime, if you want to know more about tight diamonds, Google “Hi Lake Interchange Study.” It will pull up a presentation that the Land Use and Housing Committee heard 18 months ago. And while you’re at it, come join a Land Use and Housing meeting. We’re a fun bunch of people and our next meeting is Thursday, November 2, at 6:30 at the CNO office.

 


Community Meeting - Hiawatha & Lake

Corcoran Neighborhood Organization is hosting a community meeting regarding concerns about people experience homelessness, the light rail station and intersection upkeep, and crime and safety at Hiawatha & Lake St. A number of organizations will attend to give updates on the work they are doing in the area with time for questions from the community.

City of Minneapolis
Hennepin County
Metropolitan Council
MN Department of Transportation
St. Stephens
American Indian CDC

Saturday, October 28th
10-11:30 am
Midtown Farmers Market

The meeting will be held on the transit plaza next to the Lake Street LRT station, just north of the Midtown Farmers Market.
 
Questions? Heidi Johnson McAllister, 612-724-7457 x 4

Community and Leadership Awards Dinner November 15th. Nominations Due November 1st

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Last Year's Amazing Leaders!

The leaders in Corcoran Neighborhood help to make the neighborhood a well loved place to live. This year, CNO is moving our Community and Leadership Awards Dinner from February to November to better include the volunteers from the Midtown Farmers Market. Every year, the dinner celebrates the work that has occurred over the past year by dedicated leaders.

Join your neighbors at CNO’s Community Awards Dinner on Wednesday, November 15th. Dinner will begin at 6:00 pm at Corcoran Park (3334 20th Ave S), accompanied by music. A program will feature neighbors toasting other neighbors who have shown outstanding volunteer leadership in the Corcoran neighborhood during the past year, or over their lifetime. Community leaders are folks who undertake large- or small-scale efforts, gestures of goodwill, and leadership that benefits our neighborhood.

Nominate your neighbor for the Lifetime Community Leader or Leader of the Year to be celebrated at the Community Awards Dinner. Nominations due November 1st. Submit the nominee’s name, your name, and a brief statement explaining how they have contributed to the neighborhood to Brettina Davis at Brettina@corcoranneighborhood.org or by mail at 3451 Cedar Ave S. You may also call Brettina at 612-724-745 to phone in your nomination.

Mark your calendars for November 15th and plan to join us for a fun, community focused evening. Hope to see you then!

 


Business Spotlight: Northern Rose Bicycles

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It’s no secret that Minneapolitans love their bikes. Winter or not, we have one of the best cycling communities in the country and now, Corcoran has its own full service bicycle shop!  

Eric’s lifelong passion for biking began young.   Before he was old enough, he applied regularly at all of the local Madison, WI bike shops until finally, at 16 he got a job!  His passion had him leaving school early and staying late to get in extra hours as he loved the work. He continued there even after starting at the U, and since then he’s worked every angle of the bike service industry in numerous shops - mechanic to manager, from Madison, to Vancouver and back to Minneapolis.  Days, nights and after hours, he helped friends open a store in Vancouver. There he learned to hand build custom wheels that are superior to factory made without a huge additional investment for the customer.  

After 5 years in Vancouver, his wife’s job landed them back in the Twin Cities. He’s worked at other shops in South Minneapolis but was looking for the perfect location (close to his home) to open his own, and just east of the Corcoran Neighborhood Office you will find Northern Rose Bicycles.

Northern Rose Bicycles is homey and bright.  The store opens into a showroom flanked with bikes. A counter and oriental rugs are the centerpiece and bike parts surround.  You’ll likely be greeted by Eric, or his employee, Laura Alicia, on Saturdays. The place is lively with friends or maybe his young daughter.  Due to limited space, he sells only custom bikes and has paired up with Erik Noren of Peacock Groove (the “Orange County Choppers” of the bike world!) and other specialty bicycle builders, but don’t let this intimidate you.  Everyone is welcome and no repair is too small.

Eric wants his shop to be all about service.  Prices will be comparable to any shop in town, but he aims to get the work done more quickly and with the best possible customer service. He wants it to be fun and easy to visit him at the shop. He strives to keep his repair turnarounds the quickest in town and if you need new wheels, those custom-deals come with a 2 year warranty! Stop in and welcome Eric to the neighborhood or to “ooh and ah” over the fancy custom bikes for sale.

 


Are You a Renter? If so, You Are Invited!

Are you a Renter in Corcoran Neighborhood? If the answer is "yes!" you are invited to a party and potluck showing appreciation for you!

Read more

New Adult Education Building Already Rising

 

Evacuation is complete and concrete forms have begun in earnest at the future south campus of Adult Basic Education/Transitions Plus, a post-secondary education and training center.

Were fossils discovered during the dig? No, according to Andrew Lesch of Minneapolis Public Schools, who kindly briefed the Land Use and Housing Committee on the project. Although workers did unearth a fuel tank and came across an old Burma Shave sign (which was saved).

The new four story building will feature a light-filled atrium that serves as a link between the two arms of the school. It will also feature a half-sized gymnasium, multiple classrooms and meeting rooms, underground and surface parking, and ample bicycle parking on the Lake Street side of the building. The aluminum, brick, and metal-clad structure will have vehicle curb cuts on 21 st and 20th avenues.

The edifice will sit on a parcel of land just west of the YWCA on the south side of East Lake Street. It is scheduled to open in late 2018 and is part of the larger redevelopment of the greater Hi-Lake area. When complete, the existing ABE building will be shuttered and demolished in preparation for the next phase of housing.

Adolfson and Peterson Construction is handling the project. The company has been quick to respond to tagging at the site. You can direct your concerns to the construction site office at 952-417- 8370, or email contactmn@a-p.com. 

Want to stay on top of land use & housing changes in the neighborhood? Join us at our monthly Land Use & Housing Committee meeting - the 1st Thursday of the month, 6:30-8 PM, at the CNO office (3451 Cedar Ave S).  Join us!


Announcing the Midtown Farmers Market Try It! Program

 

Calling all entrepreneurs!

The Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (CNO) announces the Midtown Farmers Market Try It! Program.  

This program offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs to try out farmers market vending on 1-2 Saturdays with limited investment.  We'll help lower the entry barrier so you can bring your product to the market.  CNO will pay for vendor fees, tent, table, and program sign - valued at $1,000!  Vendors will be responsible for providing any other needed equipment and any required insurance or permits.

Eligible businesses include small businesses with eligible products and limited past experience at a farmers market.  Eligible products include:  Arts, Crafts, Clothing, Food products qualifying under the MN Cottage Food Law, Fresh Produce; Annual and Perennial Plants, Rootstock, Shrubs, and Trees; Other Farm Products honey, eggs, meat, flowers, and other goods that would qualify under the Minneapolis Farmers Licensing Exemption; Immediately Consumable Foods; Other Prepared Foods; Services

To apply, please complete and submit the Try It! application.

If you have questions, please contact Vanessa: vanessa@corcoranneighborhood.org or 612-724-7457 ext. 5

Brought to you by Corcoran Neighborhood Organization with help from the CLA Foundation.

 

 

 


Taking Your Business Idea to the Next Level

 [Photo: Congrats to the 2017 NDC Plan It! Graduates & Entrepreneurs]

Are you thinking of starting a business?  Corcoran Neighborhood Organization can help!  We are seeking to assist one business with their start-up and have funding and resources to help you launch.  Interested parties should submit the following information to vanessa@corcoranneighborhood.org - name, address, phone number, brief business concept, brief description of where you are at in the process, current challenges, and expected next steps.  We look forward to hearing from you!


CNO Submits Comments on Streetcar-Era Commercial Nodes

At its June meeting, the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization’s Board of Directors decided to submit comments to the City of Minneapolis regarding the future of streetcar-era business intersections, such as Corcoran’s business node of 35th Street and 23rd Avenue South. The comments, drafted by CNO’s Economic Development Committee, were intended to help the City consider how it will support similar business nodes as it crafts its 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

The intersection of 35th Street and 23rd Avenue South is an important commercial and social hub for the Corcoran Neighborhood. Like many other small commercial intersections in the interiors of neighborhoods, that corner sprung up around a streetcar line that once zig-zagged through Corcoran. Today, the 22 bus line follows the approximate route of the streetcar and makes a turn at that intersection.

The mix of local independent businesses at the intersection are valued by our neighborhood for the goods, services, and jobs they provide, as well as the positive foot traffic they generate.  Many of the local business and property owners on this intersection work hard not just to generate profit, but to support local initiatives and serve the community’s needs.

Since 2014, CNO has engaged neighborhood residents and business owners surrounding in identifying the value in that node as it stands, the obstacles faced by business owners there, and a positive vision for its future.  As a result of that engagement, CNO has begun collaborating with business and property owners at the node coordinate joint marketing initiatives, events, and investments in the intersection.

One major challenge that the Economic Development Committee has identified at the intersection is that it is not currently eligible for the City’s economic development programs that are intended to help businesses, such as its’ façade improvement matching grants. Other similar commercial nodes that are wedged in the heart of neighborhoods and sprung up around historic streetcar lines face the same challenge.

This comments to be submitted to the City lay out principles that CNO believes the City of Minneapolis should take into consideration for supporting the future of streetcar-era nodes similar to the one at 35th Street and 23rd Avenue. Some of those principles include:

Maintaining diversity and accessibility: Many commercial nodes in the interior of neighborhoods serve as entry points for small and early-stage businesses. The City should ensure that its tools and resources are made available to help these small businesses thrive and grow.

Design pedestrian-oriented streetscapes and a vibrant public realm: One of the best things about streetcar-era nodes is that the businesses in them often serve neighbors within walking distance. The City should take care to ensure pedestrian safety at these nodes and do what it can to calm motorized traffic. Additionally, where welcomed by local businesses, the City should consider methods for encouraging the use of sidewalk furniture and other amenities at these intersections.

Guide new development: Given current market conditions, CNO believes that significant new construction at the intersection of 35th Street and 23rd Avenue is unlikely in the near future. However, if new development were proposed, CNO encourages the City and developers to seek neighborhood input. New developments should include a mix of uses, contribute to the pedestrian experience, and prioritize locally-owned businesses in new commercial spaces.

These comments will be considered by City planners as they develop the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. In the meantime, CNO will continue working with businesses and residents at the intersection of 35th & 23rd to help it meet the needs of the neighborhood and thrive. Stay tuned for future articles exploring more of the history and future of this intersection!


Lake + Minnehaha Open Streets 2017

 

 

The Corcoran Neighborhood Organization and the Midtown Farmers Market are thrilled to announce that we will once again participate in Open Streets Minneapolis on Sunday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  This year’s route includes both Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue, which will be blocked-off to be enjoyed by bicyclists and pedestrians for nearly four miles through southeast Minneapolis.  

This year for Open Streets Lake Street + Minnehaha Avenue, the Midtown Farmers Market will once again be holding a breakdancing battle right beneath the Hiawatha Avenue bridge. In addition to breakdancing and all styles competitions, the Midtown Farmers Market will also be hosting an Urban Agriculture and Gardening Fair, food trucks and market vendors. Dance competitions will include an $800 prize for the top 4 vs. 4 crew, along with prizes for an all styles competition and farmers market triva.  Be sure to check out the action under the Hiawatha Avenue bridge on Lake Street!

Humanize Hi-Lake!

At Open Streets 2015, CNO kicked off a campaign to “humanize” the Hiawatha and Lake Street-intersection area.  We partnered with the Sierra Club, Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, Lake Street Council and Longfellow Community Council to gather signatures on more than 500 petition postcards to raise awareness of the concerns at the intersection.  The City and County responded with the Hi-Lake Interchange Study which recommended many specific changes to improve the intersection for pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists.

The CNO Land Use and Housing Committee held two public meetings to determine the most critical improvements.  They top picks were: ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps, “smart channels” to calm motor vehicle traffic, additional lighting and trees, and leading pedestrian intervals to give pedestrians a head-start at crosswalks.  

At Open Streets 2017, we want to hear directly from neighbors about your top priorities for specific changes to the intersection.  We will tally the community’s response and ask our elected leaders at the City and County to fund the improvements.  

 

Volunteers Needed!

Please help inform your neighbors and gather the voices of Open Streets attendees to Humanize Hi-Lake!  Sign-up to volunteer here!

 

About Open Streets, from openstreetsmpls.org: Open Streets Minneapolis brings together community groups and local businesses to temporarily close major thoroughfares to car traffic, and open them up for people walking, biking, skating, and playing. This community event is in its sixth year, and is co-sponsored by the City of Minneapolis.

More than a street festival, Open Streets Minneapolis gives residents an opportunity to explore their neighborhood and local businesses in a safe, fun, and family-friendly way. It encourages the use of active transportation and healthy living, and has a goal of giving residents an opportunity to rethink our streets as public space.

 


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