Property Owners Shape Hennepin;
Former Lunds Site Gets New Look
August 8, 2008 (MINNEAPOLIS)— Property owners along Hennepin Avenue are working with the city of Minneapolis to improve the avenue’s appearance, with a goal of a safe, walkable, pedestrian-friendly street—a destination for theater, as part of the Hennepin Theatre District, art and culinary experiences. The group’s efforts, called the Hennepin 2012 Initiative, focus on repositioning Hennepin Avenue, in preparation of its change to a two-way street. The change-over in the traffic pattern is expected to be complete by the end of 2009.
"It’s time for Hennepin Avenue’s full revival," said Council Member Lisa Goodman, Ward 7. "We are seeing remarkable investments along the avenue, and now have a great opportunity to partner with the property owners to make Hennepin Avenue even better. This group is helping to position downtown as a vibrant place today and into the future."
"Hennepin Avenue is the heart of Minneapolis’ nightlife and entertainment," said Ralph Burnet, member of the 2012 Initiative. "It’s our ‘storefront’ to the rest of the country, and it should showcase what’s best about the city. The 2012 Initiative will make sure the streetscape is as vibrant, colorful and creative as the businesses that populate this avenue."
Art Installation on Friday, August 8
The former site of Lunds, 12 th and Hennepin, will undergo an extensive art treatment, an art installation led by Juxtaposition Arts. This project is one example of a company acting as a good neighbor and property owner taking care of their site while in transition to new uses.
"Our partnership with the Hennepin 2012 Initiative provides us a great opportunity to improve the streetscape on our property along Hennepin Avenue while also giving youth in Minneapolis a chance to showcase their artwork," said Tres Lund, chairman and CEO of Lund Food Holdings, the parent company of Lunds and Byerlys. "We are making a significant investment along Hennepin Avenue with a future store at 11 th and Hennepin, and we’re committed to doing everything we can to contribute the vibrancy of the avenue."
The Utility Art Box Program, launches Sunday, August 10
(Photo opp. from 10am-noon. Artists and Tom Hoch, President/CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust, available for photographs and comment.)
• Fifteen visual artists begin painting 25 metal utility boxes on Hennepin Avenue (between Spruce Place and Washington Avenue), as part of The Utility Art Box Program, a new project sponsored by the Hennepin Theatre Trust and Keep Minneapolis Beautiful, with support from the City of Minneapolis.
Hennepin 2012 projects, to date:
• Juxtaposition Arts installation at former Lunds site
• Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Utility Art Box Program—artists transform Hennepin Avenue utility boxes
• Planters, purchased and maintained by the 2012 property owners, initiated by Hennepin Theatre Trust and Walking Minneapolis
• Businesses doing more—Block E, for example, has doubled its cleaning crews and "adopted" the cleaning of adjacent bus stops
• Police substation (located in Block E)—coming soon!
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Contact: Krista Bergert, Communications, CPED, (612) 673-5015
Published Aug. 8, 2008