Progress on rebuilding Lake Street

An update from Council Member Alondra Cano on rebuilding Lake Street.

September 1, 2020

In the days after the burning down of Lake Street, Council Member Cano convened a table of 30+ Lake Street stakeholders to mobilize and organize for rebuild efforts. This effort hosted dozens of Minnesota State elected officials to tour Lake Street to assess impact and produced an advocacy letter sent to the State legislature signed by more than 150 Lake Street business owners asking for a $1 Billion dollar recovery package. The City’s Intergovernmental Department lobbied on this request but the State failed to approve a recovery package. For more information about the State’s decisions to help Lake Street recover please contact your State elected official.

Council Member Cano introduced an Ordinance amending Title 13 of the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances relating to Licenses and Business Regulations, adding a new Chapter 353 entitled "Commercial Property Sale" to require the advanced notice of sale of commercial property. The ordinance had a public hearing in September and has been referred to City Staff.

See the Property Sale Ordinance (2020-00638)

The Lake Street Council had disbursed $2.8 million in grants to 175 businesses. 86% are BIPOC owned, and 93% are immigrant owned. They are in decision making on a second round.

From the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to the aftermath of the officer involved death of Mr. George Floyd, our Minneapolis community has faced extraordinarily painful times. Mayor Frey has put together an effort called Minneapolis Forward to recover and transform.

The Mayor’s Minneapolis Forward: Community Now Coalition is a cross-sector coalition that will help transform Minneapolis into a stronger, equitable, inclusive, resilient, and innovative city. Participants reflect leadership from Twin Cities businesses, cultural institutions, community organizations, and foundations. This coalition is rooted in the expertise and experiences of Historically Black people, Indigenous communities, People of Color, and Immigrants, including youth, in coalition with other leaders within private, philanthropic, and public sectors. Together, the coalition is leading with civility, justice, and an intentional approach to delivering systemic solutions while doing this work differently.

The co-chairs and the core strategy team of the Minneapolis Forward: Community Now Coalition lead the creation of the specific solutions, strategies, and tactics that will yield immediate and long-term economic transformation, recovery, and healing of Minneapolis. The members represent impacted businesses and associations, cultural institutions, business and economic development partners who are deeply rooted in and accountable to community. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) leadership is central and at the forefront of this work for the entire city. These include representation from both the Lake Street Council (LSC) and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and business owners from the Ninth Ward.

The Coalition’s recovery work includes support for the following 8 areas of action:

  1. Business Retention
    Develop and deploy resources to preserve in the community the businesses and cultural institutions that were there before the death of George Floyd whether or not the property owner chooses to rebuild or repair the directly impacted buildings.
  2. Prioritize Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)/Minority-Owned Businesses
    Develop and deploy resources for BIPOC/minority-owned businesses and nonprofits that owned or leased space in a building that was destroyed or directly impacted and where insurance will not cover the loss.
  3. Supporting Entrepreneurs who Invest in the Community
    Create a climate in the impacted communities that supports community businesses with access to capital, mentorship and network resources to grow in place, hire from the community, and seed prosperity.
  4. Real Estate Owners & Tenants
    Develop resources for owners whose properties have been destroyed and directly impacted and where insurance will not cover the loss. Create wealth building opportunities through prioritizing BIPOC community real estate ownership and investment, including first right of refusal for current tenants.
  5. Housing Preservation
    Develop and deploy resources to allow displaced residents to stay in the community through the replacement or repair of residences destroyed and directly impacted and where insurance will not cover the loss.
  6. Inclusive Economic Solutions
    Assure that the resources procured and developed prioritize economic inclusion, quickly stabilize immediately impacted communities, and create capacity to envision and launch projects with an emphasis on healing and cultural wellness and participation by BIPOC/minority- owned businesses in the rebuilding of these historically neglected neighborhoods.
  7. Immediate Needs of Impacted Residents
    Assure that the resources developed address the critical needs of food, transportation and healthcare and cultural wellness needs for impacted residents.
  8. Reimagining Public Spaces
    Rebuilding allows spaces to be redesigned to better serve the people of the community. Focus on enhancing the physical environment in a way that reflects the community of today built on ideas from the impacted community. Our transformed public spaces will stimulate the local economy by strengthening connections, and promoting mobility, and physical and mental health benefits.

Learn more about the Minneapolis Forward: Community Now Coalition.

Hiawatha Campus and Industrial Polluters in East Phillips

At request of the community, the City is completing a voluntary EAW (environmental assessment worksheet) on the Hiawatha Campus expansion. City Staff has engaged a consultant to assist in the preparation of the EAW. The EAW process will enable many parties to comment on important aspects of the project. The EAW draft is expected in September with a public comment period in October. The City will respond to the EAW in November and a Council presentation will take place in January 2021.

If you have questions about the EAW process, please contact Barbara O’Brien at

Design work and planning work on the project continues. You may see actions around technical aspects of the planning and zoning process come before the Council this fall.

Get project updates on Hiawatha Campus Expansion on the City’s website.