Update from the Mayor – March 16, 2005
March 16, 2005
IN THIS ISSUE:
Transit Use Stories Needed at the Capitol!
As you have read in the paper, Metro Transit is facing a decision on slashing bus routes and reducing services, including eliminating service in some suburbs altogether. I am at the State Capital this afternoon with Representative Frank Hornstein trying to prevent cuts to transit funding and I want to share your stories of how transit works everyday with the Legislators. Please, if you use Metro Transit to get to work, school, medical appointments, etc. on a regular basis - especially from Minneapolis into the suburbs - can you take a minute and e-mail me your story? I want to share as many real, personal examples of how transit is a vital means of transportation for a lot of people as I can. E-mail me today so I can add your stories to the testimony that we giving at the Capitol today and in the future. E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Plaza Verde Success
It takes a lot of effort to stabilize a neighborhood - businesses, nonprofits, arts organizations, community groups - all stakeholders have a part to play in the creation of a thriving urban neighborhood. I want to celebrate the hard work and dedication that the Neighborhood Development Center (NDC), joined with the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Cooperativa Mercado Central, and the Latino Economic Development Center, demonstrated together to transform a vacant and blighted property into a revitalized retail destination for community based businesses and a center for arts groups. The building, formerly called the Antiques Minnesota Building near the corner of Lake Street and Bloomington Avenue, has now been christened Plaza Verde and it has opened its doors to benefit the surrounding area in numerous ways.
This 43,000 square foot, four-story building has been renovated to provide the entrepreneurs of the Cooperativa Mercado Central an opportunity to grow and expand their businesses into street level retail spaces, and to have a voice in the fate of a central property in the heart of the emerging Latino district. The second floor has office spaces for Latino businesses, as well as the new Lake Street Business & Career Center, a joint venture of NDC, Minneapolis Community Technical College, Goodwill Easter Seals, and the City of Minneapolis. The third floor ballroom is leased to the Heart of the Beast Theatre for affordable studio, office and performance space for itself and other community-based arts organizations, fostering the cultural development begun sixteen years ago when Heart of the Beast Theatre renovated the Avalon Theatre on the corner of 15th and Lake Street.
Congratulations again to the NDC, lead developer for the project, which was the first in Minnesota to leverage New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) and the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit. In addition, gap financing was secured from the City of Minneapolis, Minneapolis Empowerment Zone, Midtown Phillips NRP, Partners for the Common Good, Northwest Area Foundation, Met Council Tax Base Revitalization Fund, Pohlad Foundation, and Piper Jaffray.
Plaza Verde is a true public/private partnership that has set the example for how to stabilize and revitalize a commercial corridor like Lake Street.
Swedish School Delegaton Send-Off on Friday
I invite you to join me this Friday, March 18th at the American Swedish Institute between 4:30 - 7:00 pm to help celebrate and send off with good wishes a delegation of Minneapolis Public School teachers for a study visit to the schools of Uppsala, Sweden, a Sister City of Minneapolis.
Tours of the historic mansion at 2600 Park Avenue will begin at 4:45 pm and 6:00 pm, and there will be refreshments, door prizes and live entertainment. The Minneapolis-Uppsala Friendship Committee is asking for a $15 contribution to benefit the study tour program.
I will be there to wish them well and to present a letter of greeting which the delegation will present to the Mayor of our Sister City Uppsala. Call 871-4907 to RSVP or for more information.
Published Mar. 16, 2005