Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center funded by Recovery dollars

The new Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center on Chicago Avenue and 38th Street broke ground Oct. 30, 2009, in part due to federal Recovery funding. The project brings an active arts use to the intersection in a historic building.

The Chicago Fire Arts Center, a non-profit organization focused on art forms using heat, spark, and flame, will be housed in the former historic 1917 Nokomis Theater. The building will undergo renovation, including the construction of a gallery space, classrooms, offices, and a large workshop and mezzanine where classes in blacksmithing, welding, jewelry-making, glasswork, and much more will be offered.

The City worked with the surrounding neighborhoods on a plan for the area of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue; acquired the building for redevelopment; provided financing through its 2% loan and Great Streets programs, and worked with the City's Zoning Board of Adjustment for use approvals.

The City of Minneapolis has been a partner with the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center and Artspace Projects on the redevelopment.

About the ARRA Funds

The City of Minneapolis received $3,609,047 in Community Development Block Grant Recovery funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Chicago Fire Arts Center, one of nine projects funded, received $275,000.

About the Great Streets Program

Launched in 2007, the Great Streets Neighborhood Business District program is a coordinated effort to help businesses develop and succeed along the commercial corridors and at commercial nodes throughout Minneapolis. City resources are available for business loans, real estate development financing, and business district assistance such as façade improvement, market studies and retail recruitment efforts.

Oct. 30, 2009

Published Oct 30, 2009