February 2020 BLUH Meeting Update

This month's meeting featured a presentation on the 500 S 7th Street proposed development, a presentation on the Redleaf Center for Family Healing, and updates from the Minneapolis Police Department and Minneapolis Fire Department. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the EPNI office.

Development Proposal for 500 S 7th Street

Previously, Sherman Associates and ESG brought a proposal before BLUH for the same site - 500 S 7th, the southern portion of the block shared with the new Thrivent Headquarters Building.  Due to market changes, that development proposal did not move forward.  Now, the team is back with a development proposal with some similarities (multi-family housing and a daycare) but without the hotel component and with the addition of a partnership with Firefights for Healing. 

Martin Sicotte (ESG), Bob Loken (ESG), and Ross Stiteley (Sherman Associates) presented the proposal to develop the southern half of the block to a high-density mixed use development consisting of an 8-story, 195 unit residential building.  The building will be integrated into a skyway-connected two-story podium incorporating a 12,000 SF daycare facility at street level and a 14,500 SF facility for Firefighters for Healing at the skyway level.  A one-story below grade parking facility will be connected to the parking beneath the new Thrivent headquarters building.   

The apartment units consist of market-rate studio to 2-bedroom options.  There will be approximately 12 units set aside for Firefighters for Healing -  a nonprofit that provides housing for families of burn victims at no cost while their loved ones receive treatment.  The development team is currently in conversation with the City of Minneapolis to explore if the units set aside for Firefights for Healing fulfill the inclusionary zoning requirement.  

The Minneapolis Comprehensive Plan (2040) calls for a minimum of 10 stories on this site.  Given the project design, the nearby building heights (Thrivent Headquarters is 8 stories, Sexton Lofts is 6), the team is asking the City to support the 8 story concept. 

Timeline: this project goes to Committee of the Whole on February 27th.  A public hearing will be scheduled for the future.

View the presentation slides for this development proposal (pdf) here.

Motion to support the conceptual design of 500 S 7th Street.  M. Dustrud/Schafer.  Motion passed. 


Development Proposal for Hennepin Healthcare Redleaf Center for Family Healing

Tom Hayes, Hennepin Healthcare, shared the plan to build a new Redleaf Center for Family Healing within the existing HCMC footprint.  The Center will be built on Chicago Avenue and 7 Street, at street level, under the existing building.  

The Redleaf Center for Family Healing is an extension of an existing program within Hennepin Healthcare, housed in the Parkview building.  The Center offers a mental health program for mothers and their babies.  Services available as part of this program include multi-generational mental health services, parenting support, and holistic approach to healing incorporating mind, body, and spirit.  The new building will allow the program to expand and include additional opportunities such as the "Kitchen Table" and onsite drop-in childcare for patients to utilize when they are receiving services at the center/hospital.

This project requires an amendment to an existing Conditional Use Permit.

View the presentation slides for this proposal (pdf) here.

Motion to support the amendment to the Conditional Use Permit for the construction of the Redleaf Center for Family Healing.  M. Dustrud/Anderson.  Passed.


Updates from MPD & MFD

Mark Klukow of Minneapolis Police Department and Larry Oker of Minneapolis Fire Department attended to provide updates and answer questions.

Mark shared that crime in the area is about the same as this time last year.  Overall, Elliot Park neighborhood is relatively quiet in terms of crime.  There have been some recent vehicle theft - including a stolen car and items stolen from cars.  He also shared that a substation is in the works for the Mill District but that the office would not be staffed as a public office.  When asked about the new Catholic Charities project and impact on the neighborhood, Mark responded that they would have to wait to see what happens and work with the community to address any issues.  Mark shared some words of advice: 1) keep your car keys in your pocket, do not leave the fob in the car, and 2) keep your phone in your pocket, especially when walking alone.  Doing so will better protect your car and self from crimes of opportunity.

Larry shared information about the Drake Fire, highlighting that all residents were rescued through an amazing response from the MFD with support from others such as MPD.  He noted that downtown and the edge of downtown have many buildings that have been "grandfathered" in and are not required to have sprinklers.  He also noted that newly developed buildings that utilize noncombustible materials as opposed to treated wood, are great to see a a firefighter.  He also noted that the newer buildings also have sprinkler systems.  


Announcements & Discussion

- Join EPNI at FINNEGANS on March 5th for Neighborhood Night!

- EPNI is putting together a Task Force on the Catholic Charities project.  The first meeting is scheduled for March 11th.  All are welcome to attend.  Learn more here.


We hope to see you at our next BLUH meeting on March 19th, 6:00 PM at the Elliot Park Rec Center!  Tentative agenda includes: presentation from City of Minneapolis Emergency Management System, presentation on the Elliot Twins renovation project, and an update from the St. Stephens Shelter at First Covenant Church.