Hennepin County is partnering with the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (CNO) and the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) to fill the retail storefronts along Lake Street that will accompany County’s new service center at 2225 East Lake Street. Retail tenants at this location will not only benefit from a prime location between a busy transit hub and the YWCA, but from potential costumers in the 1,000+ county employees and 1,000+ additional visitors who will pass through the County Service Center each work day.
Though the County will make the final leasing decisions, they are looking to CNO and NDC to recruit businesses that could provide a wanted or missing service in the neighborhood and are established enough to afford the cost of leasing new retail space, which will likely be a higher rate than in older storefronts along the corridor. Through the cooperative agreement signed between County and CNO, which guides the execution of the project, the County has agreed that leasing efforts should prioritize locally owned business.
To find businesses that meet this profile (established, wanted, local), CNO and NDC will reach into their existing networks and beyond to get the word out. NDC, the non-profit behind the Midtown Global Market, who has a long history of supporting small businesses in Minneapolis/St Paul, has been tapped to not only comb its ranks for viable candidates but to provide technical assistance to small businesses who, though they may lack some experience or access to capital, could achieve success at 2225 E. Lake with some extra support.
The CNO Economic Development Committee, with the help of the Center for Urban Regional Affairs, completed a survey of Corcoran consumers last summer. Respondents made it clear that Corcoran could benefit from businesses who bring positive activity to the street throughout the workday, evening, and weekends (e.g. a coffee shop, restaurant/wine bar, medical services, day care, local retailers of the non-controlled substance variety). As the site is also home to the seasonal Midtown Farmers Market, CNO would like to find businesses that are a complement to and/or reflect the values of the market.
As the Economic Development Committee ramps up its recruitment efforts, they would love your input. If you have suggestions for local businesses you’d like to see at 2225 E. Lake, send them our way. Better yet, join the committee! Contact Heidi Johnson McAllister at Heidi@corcoranneighborhood.org or 612-724-7457 for more information or to get involved.