The Midtown Farmers Market is secure at 2225 East Lake Street-its home of 7 seasons-and will be part of the future redevelopment of the site. This was the message from Mark Bollinger, Executive Director of Facilities for Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS), when he attended the April 19, 2010 meeting of Corcoran’s Land Use and Transportation and Housing committees. MPS owns the building and 6-1/2 acre site and is currently preparing a request for proposals (RFP) for its sale and redevelopment.
While preparing to sell, MPS is relocating its citywide Welcome Center, Community Education, and Adult Basic Education operations to 2225 East Lake. These functions, like the farmers market, will be accommodated in the redevelopment, said Bollinger, meaning MPS will transition from being property owner to becoming a tenant on a small portion of the site. For now, they will occupy the existing building-originally built as Brown Institute in 1985-though this structure is expected to be demolished as part of the redevelopment. Bollinger expects to relocate MPS operations temporarily during construction.
MPS has been downsizing for several years, through school closures and consolidations, disposal of unneeded properties, and most recently, an initiative to consolidate its administrative operations and district headquarters. These initiatives have aimed to “right-size” the district’s operating space to its actual needs, to make operations more cost effective, and to address the sizable debt facing the MPS board.
Farmers market will open May 1, dedicate season to MPS
The Midtown Farmers Market will dedicate its 2010 season to Minneapolis Public Schools, its generous host of 7+ seasons, in thanks for allowing the Market to connect over 40,000 residents to the locally-made food and goods of nearly 100 producers each year.
The all-local Midtown Farmers Market opens Saturday, May 1 at 8:00 a.m. at 2225 East Lake. Enjoy local, seasonal produce, hot drinks and delicious crêpes, live market music, and original art or simply come out to meet with your neighbors in the spring air. All are welcome at the Midtown Farmers Market! We accept credit cards and EBT. Our vendors also accept WIC-S/FMNP and WIC-CVV. The mission of the Midtown Farmers Market is to create a vibrant forum in south Minneapolis that connects community residents, artisans, and nearby food producers in a mutually beneficial economic and cultural exchange
Bollinger expects to begin engaging prospective developers this summer. The Corcoran Midtown Revival Plan-amended to the Minneapolis Plan by City Council vote in 2002-calls for the redevelopment to include a transit-oriented mix of housing, retail/office, and shared open space to accommodate a farmers market and other public uses.
In 2009, the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (CNO) directed a university study of transit-oriented farmers markets nationwide, while engaging developers, educating elected officials, and empowering residents to ensure the conversation about redevelopment at 2225 East Lake includes citizen-identified priorities including public use and access to light rail, and sustainable development. An initiative to preserve the Midtown Farmers Market made Hennepin County’s capital investment platform in early 2010, as well as the Minnesota Senate’s, serving to elevate the profile of these issues.
Join the Land Use & Transportation committee, every 3rd Monday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at CNO.