Does anyone remember when 129 Plymouth Ave. N wasn’t vacant? Take a good look, it might not be vacant for long. A Minneapolis developer is planning to build a 10,000-square-foot commercial center there, and a number of the approvals needed are already in place.
The State of Minnesota bought it back in 1969, with the aim of building Interstate Highway 335, which would have run from Interstate 94 in North Minneapolis, through a portion of North, across the southern portion of Northeast, and hooking up with Interstate 35W where that highway goes through Northeast.
The highway project was scrapped after a sustained neighborhood protest in the late 1970s, but not before most of the land for the highway was acquired and cleared. Most of the “335 Corridor,” as it was known, was redeveloped in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Plymouth Avenue parcel, however, had some contamination issues, according to City of Minneapolis documents. Many of them were resolved by a state cleanup on the property in 2004 and 2005, and the City received a state grant of $121,395 last year to fund the remaining cleanup work.
The City is planning to buy the parcel from the State, and sell it immediately to Lupe Development LLC, which was the only responder to the City’s 2008 request for proposals to develop the land. The purchase price is $208,000, plus a 10 percent administrative fee. The Minneapolis City Council Community Development Committee approved the land sale Aug. 23, other city-planning-related approvals have also been obtained for the project.
Lupe has been involved in several area projects including Madison Lofts, Eat Street Flats & Market, Flour Sack Lofts, and the Standard Heating & Air Conditioning building across the street from the Plymouth Avenue site.
Former Minneapolis City Council Member Steve Minn is vice president and a principal in Lupe Development. He said the anticipated City Council approval of the land sale “authorizes us to negotiate the contract” to buy the property, a process he says could take 30 days or more.
He did not reveal any prospective tenants for the project. “We’re somewhat guarded…until we have the land,” he said. “We’ll be more forthcoming once we have the land secured and our schedules in place.”