NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | Summary of MHNA process regarding Pillsbury A Mill development

In order to provide a clear statement of the deliberation and action taken by the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Association (MHNA) in support of the Pillsbury A Mill development, the following is a summary of our process and final decisions:

(From the MHNA October Board of Directors Minutes, October, 2011):

"After several meetings and presentations with the developer, with community involvement, the MHNA board voted to support the Dominium Corporation plan for developing the Pillsbury A-Mill site as artists’ live-work affordable housing. We believe this is the best use of the site as a means of bringing additional diversity to the neighborhood and the riverfront area. Currently this development seems to be the best opportunity for preserving the historic A-Mill site, which is a tremendous asset to the neighborhood, the riverfront and the City of Minneapolis."

"In addition the neighborhood supports the site plan contingent upon the developer continuing further efforts to reduce surface parking along the historic rail corridor and continuing to work with others interested in the riverfront to provide a rich and rewarding interpretive experience with this historic site." (Motion passed with only one contrary vote).

This motion continues to characterize the commitment of MHNA in support of this important re-development of the most historic industrial property in the State of Minnesota. Among the statements in the discussion, included:  "if there is one property in the State of Minnesota that deserves careful development, and public support from tax financing vehicles; this development should be number one on the list in Minnesota."  Last year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated the Pillsbury A Mill as one of the 11 most endangered historic buildings in the United States.

In 2011, the neighborhood was a partner in commissioning a housing study of the University District, by Maxfield Research, Inc. Among the key findings is predicted near term demand for 526 affordable housing untis in the District. In recent months, developent of affordable housing units in the Neighborhood have been fully occupied, upon abvailability. We are confident that this will also be the case for additional affordable housing developments in the coming years.

The following are statements from the MHNA Master Plan, as adopted by the Neighborhood and affirmed by the City of Minneapolis in 2002; which are in concert with the motion taken in October, 2011 on the Pillsbury A Mill development:

Housing Policy: Land to the river side of 4th St SE may be considered for multi-family development.

Industrial properties along the river side of University Ave should be considered for mixed use developments including residential uses.

The neighborhood supports the adaptive reuse of the mills between 2nd St and Main St SE as mixed residential and commercial uses and activities that attract pedestrian traffic in the area.

Housing Goal: A well-kept, well-preserved, balanced supply of housing units that accommodates the needs of a variety of residents, including single-family homes.

The neighborhood would support conversion of some industrial buildings to residential use.

The neighborhood encourages improvement of the Mississippi River watershed through innovative methods to reduce impermeable surface, particularly in parking lots.

Social and Cultural Policy: Develop more arts and cultural opportunities in the neighborhood

Historic Preservation Goal: The preservation of neighborhood’s historic character and sense of local history. Avoid the loss of historic properties.

The Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Association remains committed to near term development of the historic Pillsbury A Mill as artist lofts, affordable housing, with public support from various tax incentive vehicles. We encourage your careful review of the develpment plans, and support for timely action through the City of Minneapolis approval process.

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    Doug Carlson's picture
    Doug Carlson

    Doug Carlson is President of the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Association.