Making transit-oriented development great at Lake and Hiawatha

There is room for improvement at the transit-oriented development proposed at Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue. It has been a long time coming, but the latest version of the project (shown above) has Hennepin County acting as master developer, working with a private design and development team led by BKV Group. A Hennepin County service center will be the primary tenant of a mixed-use office/retail building on the 6-acre site, which will also include an approximate one acre public plaza that will be home to the Midtown Farmers Market, as well as around 500 housing units. The county has indicated a short timeline to get the county services building up and running, and I fear in their haste urban design and public realm issues won’t be properly vetted.

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Dinkytown's new alliances

If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. –Lao Tzu

Ten months ago, Dinkytown was at one of those unmistakable crossroads of change rife with both crisis and opportunity. The businesses in Dinkytown are survivors of change, so this was nothing new, but this time, a perfect storm of factors came close together. On the plus side, the City of Minneapolis and Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association were taking much more notice of Dinkytown. But at the beginning of 2014, Skott Johnson, the longtime leader of the Dinkytown Business Association, known as DBA, closed his business at 1300 4th St. S.E., Autographics, and left the Twin Cities. The old Marshall High building, UTech, had been demolished and the House of Hanson would follow close on its heels. And local developer Kelly Doran was proposing to build a hotel on 4th Street, which would entail taking out yet more old low-rise buildings housing small shops and restaurants. It’s no exaggeration to say the future of Dinkytown’s identity was up for grabs.

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Farmers, ranchers and consumers lose on WTO COOL ruling

A U.S. law requiring the simple labeling of meat and poultry products for the country of origin (COOL) was determined to violate trade rules by a dispute panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) today.

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Airport workers mobliize for higher wage

(Screenshot taken from video by Labor Education Service, below)

Workers at airports across the country have raised their wages to a minimum of $15 an hour and sparked wage increase campaigns in nearby cities. After Sea-Tac workers in Washington won a ballot initiative to raise their wages, a mobilization in nearby Seattle succeeded in passing a $15 an hour minimum in that city. Workers at the Los Angeles and St. Louis airports also won minimum wage increases. Workers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport are organizing to do the same.

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Como Park bridge project underway

(Photo courtesy of the City of St. Paul) The pedestrian bridge will be restored to its Classic Revival architectural style.

After several delays, work has begun on the footbridge project near the Historic Streetcar Station in Como Park.

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Stocking the staples: Minneapolis considers minimum requirements for grocery stores

(Photo by Elizabeth Brumley) Owner Abed Hassuneh works behind the counter at Santana Foods Monday. Santana foods sells some staple foods, but the Minneapolis City Council is considering an updated grocery store ordinance that would mandate an increase in required staple foods carried in stores.

More fresh fruits, vegetables and other core food items may be coming to Minneapolis corner stores this spring.

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ADC provides Minnesota's African immigrants financial education

(Photo courtesy of Nasibu Sareva) Nasibu Savera, executive director of African Development Center: “We’ve been working really hard to make sure that we continue to strive for excellence in our services.”

Nasibu Sareva gained inspiration and enduring leadership lessons as he watched his grandfather, Juma, care for about 20 people in a single household in Tanzania. “My grandad raised just about everybody,” Sareva said. “He raised his children, nieces, nephews and even grandchildren.”

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Hope at the end of the Rainbow? Brainstorming for soon-to-be-vacant storefront begins

“When elephants fight, the grass suffers.” Swahili proverb

The elephants have struggled. Rainbow and Cub fought for years over market share at Lake and Minnehaha, but they remained competitive, and each had their share of loyal customers. Then Target decided to open a fresh food section in their store, and that became too much. One elephant fell down. Rainbow lost the battle and is leaving the Twin Cities market, and South Minneapolis is left with an empty storefront.

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Minneapolis City leaders aim for greener energy with newly approved Xcel and CenterPoint contract

(Photo by moleofproduction published under Creative Commons License)

Minneapolis’ top energy providers will collaborate with government leaders to meet the city’s sustainability goals, after a City Council vote on Friday and a multi-year campaign from sustainability activists and University of Minnesota students.

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