44th & Penn , what lies ahead?

One of the buildings under consideration in the 44th & Penn Plan

One of the buildings under consideration in the 44th & Penn Plan

 

The 44th & Penn Avenue North Redevelopment Plan was adopted by the City of Minneapolis’s Economic Development and Regulatory Services Committee at its May 15 meeting. The plan documents the City’s interest in acquiring two commercial properties at 44th and Penn for future redevelopment through new construction of transit-oriented, mixed-use commercial and multifamily housing. The properties, located at 2139 and 2147 44th Avenue North, may be better known as the sites of Restoration Counseling and Community Services, and Domino’s Pizza.

The area at 44th and Penn has long been identified as an ‘underutilized’ intersection by both the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County– meaning the node is not currently meeting its potential when it comes to accommodating housing and commercial needs. With the addition of Bus Rapid Transit on Penn, Bus Rapid Transit coming to 44th Avenue, and a tight housing market, it is prudent to examine the potential of 44th and Penn. An economic developer from the City of Minneapolis attended the Victory Neighborhood Association’s (ViNA) April meeting to discuss the 44th & Penn Plan and to solicit feedback from Victory residents. Attendees voted overwhelmingly to support the plan and the City’s acquisition of the properties.

City staff is now working toward acquiring the properties. The purchases will only proceed if the owners voluntarily agree to sell their properties at fair market value. If the properties are acquired, ViNA and the City will work together to determine development opportunities that are best-suited for the site and for the neighborhood. The properties are currently zoned C1, meaning they can accommodate housing, retail and other commercial development.

If the properties are acquired, the process of selecting a developer and breaking ground will likely take 18-24 months and ViNA is committed to ensuring the process is equitable and reflects the voices of residents throughout that time.

This article was written by Katie Fitzpatrick