Kim Eslinger
Editor
612-321-8040
kim@millcitymedia.org

Brianna Ojard
Associate Editor
brianna@millcitymedia.org

David Tinjum
Publisher
612-321-8020
dave@millcitymedia.org

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits
Email Claudia...

Merle Minda
Small Business Columnist
Email Merle...

Michael Rainville Jr.
History Columnist
Email Michael...

Ryan Ojard
Staff Photographer

Jenny Heck
Mill City Cooks
Email Jenny...

Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

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Hennepin History Museum is your history, your museum. We preserve and share the diverse stories of Hennepin County, MN. Come visit!

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Sunday
Aug182019

In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

Our weekly digest of stories about Downtown Minneapolis and the Central Riverfront neighborhoods:

WEEK OF AUGUST 19, 2019

Minneapolis mayor requests 14 more cops in next year's budget
Mayor Jacob Frey's 2020 budget includes response to police chief's plea.

Man found dead on West River Parkway
Officers were in the 200 block of West River Parkway shortly before midnight when they spotted the man lying unconscious and with no heartbeat on a bike path.

Police investigating suspicious death in NE. Minneapolis
Police in northeast Minneapolis are investigating after a body was discovered on a railroad bridge.

Bird advocates question green recognition won by U.S. Bank Stadium
Results of independent study of bird safety at U.S. Bank Stadium are expected this fall.

New Concert Venue Steps on All the Toes with Bungled Opening Announcement
Annoying icons of local industry seems like a bad way to start a business.

New York Times editor demoted after claiming Minneapolis not part of Midwest
As East Coasters are occasionally wont to do, New York Times congressional editor Jonathan Weisman appears to see the Midwest as a series of Norman Rockwell paintings, filled with a delightful ensemble of rubes and bumpkins.

Thoughtful new leader brings 'a nice shift in tone' to Walker Art Center
Sculpture is central to the story of Walker Art Center's new boss. But people skills may matter more.

Minneapolis film festival presents 7 eye-opening views of Iran
With tensions rising in the Persian Gulf, the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul offers a timely reminder that Iran’s rich culture continues pushing upward through the cracks of a repressive regime.

Gensler design firm's new Minneapolis offices are an idea showroom
"We think of our whole office as a workshop and the design lab is the heart of our shop," said Bill Baxley, principal and managing director.

Minneapolis’ Most Popular Distillery Plots Major Expansion
As Tattersall continues to go national, the distillery plans for more space, more states, and more whiskey.

Minnesota-based Izzy's ice cream is now being made in — gasp! — Wisconsin
Izzy's takes production to Wisconsin in push to become regional brand.

What to expect at Graze, the new North Loop food hall opening soon
Originally scheduled to open last week, it's now set to debut next month.

A pig and a vegetarian walk into Bacon Social House
One food item booming in sales and cache for a whole damn decade is not a "trend," it's an era. Bacon Social House, now open in downtown Minneapolis last week, is betting the reign of smoked pork belly is only just beginning.

9 Essential Twin Cities Steakhouses
From queen-cut prime rib on Saturday night to bold t-bones cooked just right, these are the old and new school restaurants that serve that prime beef cooked perfectly to order.

Closed by a flood, North Loop's JUN Szechuan to reopen
The Chinese restaurant has been undergoing repairs since October 2018.

Visit the In the News Archive...

Sunday
Aug182019

The Week Ahead in Mill City

Each week we provide an easy to reference list of events and activities for the week ahead in the Historic Mill District and Minneapolis Riverfront Neighborhoods.  Have an event to share?  Submit your events here...

Monday, August 19

Tuesday, August 20

Wednesday, August 21

Thursday, August 22

Friday, August 23

Saturday, August 24

Sunday, August 25

Sunday
Aug182019

River Hub: News from the Minneapolis Riverfront

Our weekly digest of news relating to the Minneapolis Riverfront, in collaboration with The Great River Coalition:

WEEK OF AUGUST 19, 2019

A History of Pollutants in the Mississippi River
In the late 1800's the Industrial Revolution took off in Minnesota with the lumbering industry. The lumbering industry eventually began dumping sawdust and other waste from the factories. Research by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1881 reported that many of the sand bars were filled with sawdust instead of sand. This was one of the pollutants of the Mississippi River in the 1800's.

Locks and dam meeting draws a crowd — next one is August 19
Recently, the first of two public meetings about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lock and dam disposition study drew over 80 people, mostly local residents and business owners, to Mill City Museum along the riverfront in downtown Minneapolis.

Next Week: Sunset on the Lock
Sunset on the Lock is the only chance to experience the best of Minnesota summer nights in one of the most picturesque locations in the Twin Cities, the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam.

Visit the River Hub Archive...

Saturday
Aug172019

JUN Szechuan Kitchen & Bar Reopens September 12 in the North Loop

JUN Szechuan Kitchen & Bar Reopens September 12, 2019 in the North Loop

The Fiery Szechuan Restaurant by Jessie Wong Returns After Sudden Flood

 

Local restaurateur and chef Jessie Wong reopens JUN Szechuan Kitchen & Bar in Minneapolis’ North Loop on September 12, after being forced to close in October 2018 due to severe water damage caused by a sprinkler system malfunction. JUN originally opened in January 2017 and was Wong’s second restaurant to feature her elevated Chinese cuisine, following the success of Szechuan in Roseville.

Wong, who was born and raised in Shandong, China, is excited for the restaurant to reopen so she may continue to share the cuisine and culture of her heritage with the North Loop area that is lacking Chinese cuisine options. Wong will be working in collaboration with Chef Kyle Dahl, and General Manager Jeffery Fortson to continue the evolution of the restaurant.

Both Dahl and Fortson bring great experience and excitement to their new roles with Wong. Chef Dahl has extensive experience in the Twin Cities restaurant community, where he learned from top local chefs by working at Betty Danger’s, Sushi Fix, and most recently, as Executive Chef for Masu Sushi & Robata in Northeast Minneapolis. Dahl is driven to share his passion for food and create an experience for all guests that is captivating and memorable.

General Manager Fortson has a vast and varied background in food, beverage, and hospitality. Hailing from Queens, New York, Fortson honed his experience throughout a long and successful career in both front of house and back of house positions as a food and beverage director, general manager, director of operations and director of sales and marketing. He previously ran the large team at Tartan Park in Lake Elmo as well as being general manager of the Normandy Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis.

The menu at JUN Szechuan Kitchen & Bar will showcase dim sum and authentic Szechuan dishes. Special features include the handmade, signature Szechuan dumplings, steak and broccoli stir-fry in a sesame soy-ginger sauce and a crispy whole snapper topped with crispy garlic, chives and lime-chili vinaigrette. JUN Szechuan Kitchen & Bar will also offer a full bar serving handcrafted cocktails, sake and Japanese whiskey, as well as daily happy hour.

JUN Szechuan Kitchen & Bar will be open Monday through Thursday 4pm – 10pm, Friday 4pm – 12am, Saturday 10am – 12am, and Sunday from 10am – 10pm, with a daily happy hour from 4pm – 6pm and brunch on the weekends.

“Our team has been working diligently for many months to get the restaurant ready to serve our customers the great Szechuan food we know they have been missing,” said Wong. “We couldn’t be more excited to reopen the doors and welcome them back.”

Friday
Aug162019

STREY Collective Discontinues MOA Pop-Up; Available at Northrup King Building

Via an August 14 Release:

Brands Will Remain a Collective and NE Studio Location Will Be Open 6 Days A Week With Extended Hours

STREY Collective is a community of MN brands that have joined forces to promote sustainable, ethical, and local products. We’re artists, makers, chemists, designers, and visionaries celebrating a dynamic Minnesota. We support our community throughout our creative process because we acknowledge the benefit of embracing the local economy. We recognize our individual strengths but know we can be stronger together.

Sarah Butala - founder of Strey Designs, opened her first brick and mortar last fall at Mall of America and this Spring and converted her solo act into a collaborative pop up effort with 8 brands from the local maker community. “Along my journey I have met some amazing people. People who lift each other up, support one another's brands and understand what the Maker Movement is all about. Each of the artists participating in my new concept, STREY Collective, have been a quintessential part of my brand’s evolution. If there is one thing I'm more passionate about then Strey, it's the community of makers that support each other. Together we are stronger and can make a bigger impact on our world and the deeper sense of what this movement is about.”

The local makers who are part of the STREY Collective include:
  • Strey Designs - creates functional leather bags and accessories that are practical, yet fun. We design and manufacture all of our products in our studio in Northeast Minneapolis. We are committed to giving local artists jobs, providing a handmade product to our clients and giving back to our community.
  • Elixery - founded in a vintage laboratory and launched on the runway, the Elixery formulates and manufactures lipsticks and other cosmetic delights. We do Science from Scratch. 100% Vegan/Certified Cruelty Free.
  • Scott Lehmann - an inclusive clothing and accessory label that won’t be defined by gender, age or culture. Inspired by minimalism with a sense of the absurd; simple yet unexpected.
  • Karen Morris Millinery - contemporary hats and headpieces handmade by Karen Morris in Minnesota. We focus on high-quality craftsmanship and shopper experience.
  • Vikse Designs - sterling silver jewelry hand crafted by Jeannie Trelles. Vikse jewelry features unique stones from MN and around the world.
  • Mousework Glass - creates unique hand blown functional and decorative glass art. Using borosilicate tubes and solid rods of glass, each piece is created individually by manipulating the glass in different ways.
  • Sweet B Design - hand paints, letters, and designs home décor, so wonderful people can get unique artwork & gifts in an era of mass production & same-ness. This one-woman business creates positivity-infused astrological goodies that help you tune in to the moon, stars, and your celestial being.
  • Create Laser Arts - an artist run company based in South Minneapolis, MN. We have a passion for making and focus on creating high-quality, functional art-objects that bring joy to everyday life. Our heartfelt, sustainably made gifts share our love of Minnesota nature, combining the rich traditions of hand-craft with laser technologies.  
  • Kate Pearce Studios - collection of Minnesota and beyond items are sweet reminders of this place we call home. From flour sack towels and pillows, to a variety of baby gifts and kids apparel, there is something for every room in the house.  Each piece is hand-cut and sewn and features our state in charming themed fabrics.
STREY Collective has given nine Minnesota makers a more permanent space to call home through the summer after years of popping up at various makers markets throughout the Twin Cities. All of their products are authentically made in Minnesota. This collaborative store took over the current Strey Designs pop up shop located on the second floor in the Mall of America near Nordstrom. The pop up will end on Thursday, August 29th. Select items throughout the store will be on sale for the next two weeks.
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All 9 brands will remain a Collective and their studio location at the Northrop King building will be open 6 days a week with extended hours (listed below.) Each of the brand owners will continue to bring their goods to art fairs, farmers markets and special events throughout the Twin Cities.
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Boutique/Open Studio Hours at Northrup King Building, Studio #179, 1500 Jackson St NE:
Monday 10a - 4p
Tuesday 9a - 5p
Wednesday 9a - 5p
Thursday 9a - 5p
Friday 11a - 5p
Saturday 12p - 4p 
Or By Appointment
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Our Mission:
- Support the local community with integrity, inclusivity, and compassion
- Celebrate small business instead of competing with small business
- Create a friendly & fun atmosphere for everyone to celebrate Minnesota’s entrepreneurs
Friday
Aug162019

Volunteer to Count Bicycles and Pedestrians in Hennepin County

Via an August 15 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Volunteer for the countywide bike and pedestrian count
September 10-12, 2019

 

Hennepin County is teaming up with the City of Minneapolis again for the fourth annual county bike and pedestrian count. The city is leading recruiting efforts for their locations, and we are leading recruiting efforts for suburban locations.

We have a new goal this year. We are aiming to recruit enough volunteers to cover more than 30 sites in 19 suburban locations. 

We don’t need much from those who volunteer. We need people willing to count the people they see walking, biking or rolling from 4 to 6 p.m. on any of these three dates:

  • Tuesday, September 10
  • Wednesday, September 11
  • Thursday, September 12

If you can help, click here to learn more about the counting process and register online for count locations outside of Minneapolis. You can also contact Emily Kettell at emily.kettell@hennepin.us or 612-543-1963.

If you want to help with Minneapolis locations, contact Chris Kartheiser at chris.kartheiser@minneapolismn.gov or 612-673-2544.

Please let us know if you need any special accommodations, too.

Thank you for your willingness to consider playing a role in this effort. These counts help us better understand how our streets, sidewalks and trails serve people walking, biking and rolling. 

Thursday
Aug152019

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project

Hennepin Avenue Downtown Reconstruction Project

Hennepin Ave. reconstruction project, led by City of Minneapolis Public Works, will be reconstructed between 12th Street and Washington Avenue beginning Spring 2019.  The project will reconstruct the pavement from building face to building face, including improvements to public and private utility infrastructure, and improved infrastructure for pedestrians, bicycles, transit, and vehicles.
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Latest Project News
 

Both Public and Private Utility construction continues throughout the corridor.  This work is continuing to be more and more as we go through the season.  Traffic lane restrictions will continue on Hennepin Ave. as well as the cross-streets.

What's Coming Up 

Both 7th Street and 9th Street will be reduced significantly to cross street traffic starting Monday next week.  Expect delays.  9th St will then be closed to cross traffic starting Friday 8/23 through the end of the month.

Xcel and Centerpoint continue their work on the north end of the project between 5th and Washington.  The City Sewer contractor continues work at 9th and progressing south, while Xcel is starting their work at 7th St.  Xcel will continue to head south along the corridor to 12th.

Please see update attached for more details

Hennepin_Update_Vol10.pdf

For more information on this project contact: 

Construction Manager, hennepinCM@minneapolismn.gov or 612-225-4049

www.hennepindowntown.com 

Thursday
Aug152019

Joint Statement from Five Minneapolis Organizations Regarding Mayor Frey's 2020 Budget Plan for Public Safety

Via a joint statement from mpls downtown council, MPLS Regional Chamber, BOMA Greater Minneapolis, Warehouse District Business Association and North Loop Neighborhood Association regarding Mayor Frey’s 2020 budget plan for public safety:

Our City and downtown continue to experience too much violence and other dangerous behavior. This is a time for clarity, both in understanding the situation we face and the need for action. Policing is not the only response needed, but it is an essential response which must be better supported.

None of us deny the importance of investing in the future of our community and its residents through affordable housing, workforce training and quality education. In fact the private sector is frequently a key partner in such endeavors.

None of us deny the importance of implementing a wide range of strategies to keep neighborhoods and commercial districts safe. In fact, businesses and several of our organizations fund outreach, prevention and activation programs as priority components of a comprehensive approach to public safety.

But when it comes to denial, we are concerned that too many City Council Members deny the obvious need for investments in the Minneapolis Police Department.  Today, all the core functions of the MPD are stressed by the lack of available personnel. We are too often seeing the results on our streets.

Mayor Frey’s 2020 budget plan addresses long-term solutions, embraces a range of public safety strategies, and importantly adds additional resources including 14 sworn officer positions to the Police Department consistent with Chief Arradondo’s vision. His plan has our support.

Community health and vitality starts with confidence in personal security. Effective law enforcement is a necessary part of making our City secure. It’s essential that the City Council face this reality and provide MPD the additional resources needed to do their job of protecting residents, workers and visitors.

Thursday
Aug152019

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

Editor's note - This is an ongoing series of updates as the North Loop Reconstruction and Pedestrian Improvements project.

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

The North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Project consists of two separate projects:

  1. A full street reconstruction along 3rd St N between 10th Ave N and 5th Ave N
  2. A pedestrian improvement project generally bounded by 10th Ave N on the north, 1st Ave on the south, West River Parkway on the east, and 4th St N on the west

North Loop Reconstruction Updates

WORK THIS PAST WEEK

5th Ave N

  • Placing the first lift of asphalt today between Washington to just past 4th St N

7th Ave N

  • Completed curb placement
  • Placed the second lift of asphalt pavement
  • Completed most of the sidewalk placement
  • Continuing with the driveway placement

8th Ave N

  • Granite curb placed
  • Sidewalk placed at Washington Ave
  • Second lift of asphalt placed at Washington

9th Ave N

  • Sidewalk placed at Washington Ave
  • Second lift of asphalt placed at Washington

3rd St N

  • Completed pavement removals, with the exception of the south sidewalk
  • Finished water work
  • Finishing up the storm and sanitary work
  • Started removing poor soils at 5ht Ave N and working towards 10th Ave N

WORK ANTICIPATED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK AND NEXT WEEK

5th Ave N

  • Curb and gutter installation will follow asphalt
  • Driveway placement will start next week
  • East side sidewalk placement will start next week

7th Ave N

  • Complete driveway installation
  • Complete sidewalk installation
  • May place the 3rd lift of asphalt
  • Access at Washington will open Monday 8-19
  • Work will begin work on the north side of Washington Monday 9-19 – the lane closure that is currently on the south side of Washington will shift to the north side of Washington

8th Ave N

  • Grading for walks and driveways
  • Start placing sidewalks
  • Start placing driveways
  • Access at Washington will open Monday 8-19
  • Work will begin work on the north side of Washington Monday 9-19 – the lane closure that is currently on the south side of Washington will shift to the north side of Washington

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

North Loop Pedestrian Improvements Updates

The concrete crews are off site until the end of the month, however the sewer and water crews will be doing intermittent work in the next few weeks.

WORK THIS PAST WEEK

  • 1st St N & 4th Ave – Continuing water work
  • 2nd St N and 3rd Ave N – Continuing sewer work

REMAINING WORK ON THIS PROJECT

1st St N

  • 2nd Ave SE corner
  • 4th Ave SE and NE corner

2nd St N

  • 1st Ave N - All corners
  • 2nd Ave N – NE, SE and SW
  • 3rd Ave N – All, currently the City is working in this intersection, pedestrian ramps will be done after the sewer work is complete
  • 5th Ave N – SE corner
  • 8th Ave N – South side and NE corner
  • 10th Ave N – SE and SW corners

4th St N

  • 10th Ave N – NE corner
  • 7th Ave N – South side

 Other

  • All signal installation will start late in September due to long lead times on materials
  • Remaining concrete work will continue through September

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

Miscellanious

Stakeholder Meeting -These meetings are informal, held biweekly and intended to offer residents and businesses on the job an opportunity to get construction updates, ask construction and access related questions.

Sate/Time: August 21, 7:30 am to 8:30 am
Location:  Corner Coffee 514 N 3rd St #102
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Contact Information

Project Manager:

Stephanie Malmberg, stephanie.malmberg@minneapolismn.gov, 612-673-3365

Chief Field Inspector:

John Benjamin, john.benjamin@minneapolismn.gov, 651-443-1096

Wednesday
Aug142019

NIEBNA Board of Directors Meeting Agenda for August 15

Thursday, August 15, 2019
6:30 - 8 pm
Our Lady of Lourdes Church (Hofstede Hall)
1 Lourdes Place

NIEBNA meetings are open to the public and handicap accessible. If you need any special accommodation, contact Chris Lautenschlager at chris@niebna.com five (5) business days in advance of the meeting.

6:30     
Welcome, Call to Order | Verification of Quorum | Approval of Agenda
Secretary’s Report (Kaufman)

Treasurer’s Report (Hondros)
 
6:35   
2nd Precinct Crime & Safety Report (Meehan)

6:40 
Update from Office of Council Member Steve Fletcher

6:50
Request to move additional NRP funds to existing NRP Phase II Strategy(Friends of the Mississippi River)

6:55
NCR Department’s Steve Gallagher on Neighborhoods 2020, and the recent AUP (Agreed Upon Practices) Audit of NIEBNA

7:30
Parks for All: A Vision for the next decade of the Minneapolis parks and recreation

7:50
ONYX Lounge introduction; a new business to be located at 24 University Avenue NE

7:55    
Announcements
 
8:00    
Adjourn

Tuesday
Aug132019

PowerPoint from August 7 Crime and Safety Public Forum

Photo credit: DMNA

For anyone who was unable to attend the August 7 Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association / North Loop Neighborhood Association Crime and Safety Public Forum at Open Book, they have provided a link to the PowerPoint presentation from that meeting:

DMNA - NLNA Crime and Safety Public Forum 8/7/2019 Presentation

The following people served as members of the panel and helped in gathering information for the presentation:

MPD Deputy Chief Kathy Waite
MPD First Precinct Inspector Billy Peterson
DID Director of Safety Initiatives Shane Zahn
MPD First Precinct Crime Prevention Specialist Renee Allen
MPRB Chief Jason Ohotto
MPRB Lieutenant Calvin Noble
Assistant City Attorney Matthew Wilcox

Tuesday
Aug132019

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Warns Residents About Financial Telephone Scam

Via an August 13 News Release:

Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Warns Residents About Financial Telephone Scam

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) is warning residents about telephone scams in which individuals pose as representatives of local law enforcement agencies. These individuals are telling residents that there is a warrant out for their arrest because they missed a federal jury date. The phone scammers tell residents that they will be arrested unless they pay a fine, and often suggest purchasing gift cards, calling the scammer back, and reading them the numbers on the cards. The victim is then told to contact their local Sheriff’s Office to get a federal number for proof that the warrant has been cleared.

HCSO and other law enforcement agencies will never contact individuals via phone or email to ask for any kind of payment. If individuals receive such a call, they are advised to NOT provide any personal information to the caller. Rather, they should record the caller’s number, save any voicemails that may have been left by the caller, and contact their local law enforcement agency.

Individuals should not rely on caller ID or recorded messages to verify the origin of a phone call. In some cases, phone scammers are able to use technology to appear as if they are calling from a legitimate law enforcement or government agency number. Scammers have also been known to create fraudulent recorded messages that identify their number as originating from law enforcement.

If you are uncertain about the identity of a caller, hang up the phone, locate the official phone number of the agency, and call the number directly.

Sunday
Aug112019

Thank You to MacPhail and Everyone Who Helped Make the 2019 National Night Out in the Mill District a Success

Article by Claudia Kittock, Photos by Dave Tinjum

Two months ago, Roque Diaz, the Director of School Partnerships at MacPhail Center for Music, contacted me about discussing National Night Out. Roque had an idea, and that idea was for MacPhail to take the lead in this year’s National Night Out. He wanted to know if Friends of the Mill District would be interested in partnering with MacPhail on this project.

I quickly suggested a meeting with David Tinjum of Mill City Times. We discussed holding the event in Gold Medal Park and soon had the cooperation of Emanuel Housing, Bihi Abdirizak, Open Eye Theater, the staff of The Legacy, Wildflyer Coffee, and scores of neighbors. Everyone and every group we asked said, “Yes! I’ll be there.” Our goal was to bring neighbors out to the park to get to know each other while enjoying music, food, a photo booth, a puppet show, coffee, and so much more.

2019 MacPhail National Night Out at Gold Medal Park

2019 MacPhail National Night Out at Gold Medal Park

2019 MacPhail National Night Out at Gold Medal Park

2019 MacPhail National Night Out at Gold Medal Park

2019 MacPhail National Night Out at Gold Medal Park

2019 MacPhail National Night Out at Gold Medal Park

2019 MacPhail National Night Out at Gold Medal Park

Click on the picture below to view the entire photo set:

2019 MacPhail National Night Out at Gold Medal Park

What happened on August 6 surpassed all our hopes. We had a wonderful crowd of hundreds of neighbors, fabulous music, a great puppet show, root beer floats, free coffee, games, picnic dinners, and conversation all around. August 6 was the epitome of what it means to be a community. We ARE stronger together, and that evening was a step in that process. Let’s keep the momentum going.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

About Claudia Kittock

Claudia is a resident of the Mill District. In addition to writing for Mill City Times, she is a founding Board Member of Friends of the Mill District. Claudia is the author of Health Through Chaos, mentors young adults at YouthLink, and has served on the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA).
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Contact: claudia@millcitymedia.org 
Friday
Aug092019

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

Editor's note - This is an ongoing series of updates as the North Loop Reconstruction and Pedestrian Improvements project.

North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements

The North Loop Reconstruction & Pedestrian Improvements Project consists of two separate projects:

  1. A full street reconstruction along 3rd St N between 10th Ave N and 5th Ave N
  2. A pedestrian improvement project generally bounded by 10th Ave N on the north, 1st Ave on the south, West River Parkway on the east, and 4th St N on the west

North Loop Reconstruction Updates

WORK THIS PAST WEEK

5th Ave N

  • All underground utility work completed
  • All soil corrections completed
  • Started placing gravel in preparation for paving

7th Ave N

  • Began curb and gutter placement
  • Began driveway placement
  • Light foundations and conduit installed

8th Ave N

  • Curb and Gutter placed at the Washington end
  • Started preparations to reinstall salvaged granite curb

9th Ave N

  • Curb and gutter placed at Washington and partially along the west side of 9th Ave  N

3rd St N

  • Finished salvaging brick pavers and granite curb
  • Completed pavement removals, with the exception of the south sidewalk
  • Finished water work
  • Started sanitary and storm work

WORK ANTICIPATED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK AND NEXT WEEK

5th Ave N

  • Placement of the first lift of asphalt tentatively scheduled for Wednesday August 14,local access to 5th Ave N between Washington Ave and 5th St N will be open; however, plan for delays entering and leaving the area
  • Curb and gutter installation will follow asphalt placement
  • Driveway installation is scheduled to begin the week of August 19

7th Ave N

  • Finish placement of driveways, once the driveway has reached the required strength to carry traffic a gravel ramp will be placed at the roadway end of the driveway apron
  • Start placement of sidewalks
  • Placement of the second lift of asphalt tentatively scheduled for August 15th – 16th

8th Ave N

  • Install granite curb
  • Placement of the second lift of asphalt at Washington tentatively scheduled for August 14th – 16th
  • Once the second lift of asphalt is placed local access from and to Washington Ave will be allowed
  • Concrete crews may begin the installation of concrete parking bays

9th Ave N

  • Placement of the second lift of asphalt at Washington tentatively scheduled for August 15th – 16th
  • Once the second lift of asphalt is placed local access from and to Washington Ave will be allowed

3rd St N

  • Complete underground utility work
  • Begin amending poor soils
  • Begin grading and bringing in aggregate in preparation for paving

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

North Loop Pedestrian Improvements Updates

The concrete crews are off site until the end of the month, however the sewer and water crews will be doing intermittent work in the next few weeks.

REMAINING WORK ON THIS PROJECT

 1st St N

  • 2nd Ave SE corner
  • 4th Ave SE and NE corner

 2nd St N

  • 1st Ave N - All corners
  • 2nd Ave N – NE, SE and SW
  • 3rd Ave N – All, currently the City is working in this intersection, pedestrian ramps will be done after the sewer work is complete
  • 5th Ave N – SE corner
  • 8th Ave N – South side and NE corner
  • 10th Ave N – SE and SW corners

4th St N

  • 10th Ave N – NE corner
  • 7th Ave N – South side

 Other

  • All signal installation will start late in September due to long lead times on materials
  • Remaining concrete work will continue through September

For more information on this project, visit the project website.

Miscellanious

Stakeholder Meeting -These meetings are informal, held biweekly and intended to offer residents and businesses on the job an opportunity to get construction updates, ask construction and access related questions.

Sate/Time: August 21, 7:30 am to 8:30 am
Location:  Corner Coffee 514 N 3rd St #102
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Contact Information

Project Manager:

Stephanie Malmberg, stephanie.malmberg@minneapolismn.gov, 612-673-3365

Chief Field Inspector:

John Benjamin, john.benjamin@minneapolismn.gov, 651-443-1096

Thursday
Aug082019

New Fillmore Minneapolis to Become One of America's Most Beautiful Music Halls

Via an August 8 News Release:

New Twin Cities Concert Venue Scheduled to Open in February 2020

Plans to create one of the most beautiful venues in the United States were unveiled today for The Fillmore Minneapolis music hall, that will pay tribute to both the roots of the Minneapolis music scene and to one of the most legendary music halls in the history of rock. The concert venue, next to Target Field Station at 521 N. 5th Street in Minneapolis, is slated to open for shows in February 2020.

The 36,000-square-foot, 1,850-person capacity Fillmore Minneapolis will continue Live Nation’s growth in the Twin Cities market.  Live Nation is a long time promoter in the area, having produced shows in venues such as Target Field, U.S. Bank Stadium, Xcel Energy Center, Target Center, The Armory, The Hennepin Theaters and more for many years.  The last two years in particular have seen rapid expansion with the addition of operations at Varsity Theater, the booking of the 2019 Basilica Block Party, and a show count that has more than doubled over that period. Minneapolis talent buyer Tamsen Preston will book for The Fillmore Minneapolis whose music lineup announcement is scheduled for October.

The state-of-the-art intimate venue featuring incredible sightlines plans to host 175 concerts and events per year. The Fillmore Minneapolis music hall, VIP lounge and private box seats feature thoughtful design elements, including Fillmore nostalgia from the original San Francisco venue, traditional signature Fillmore red velvet drapes, a wood dance floor, murals, chandeliers and other local Minneapolis features to ensure a night out at the Fillmore will always be special. Box seats and premium tickets are on the venue’s mezzanine level, featuring custom artwork paying homage to Prince. Also, on the mezzanine level will be the luxurious BG’s Lounge, named for legendary Fillmore promoter Bill Graham, showcasing framed Fillmore posters featuring Minnesota artists and bands who have played at The Fillmore music venues. BG’s—with its unique elevated vibe—is planned to be the premium club within a club for fans to relax pre- and post-shows and even book for private parties.

“The Fillmore Minneapolis will be a redefined concert experience for the Twin Cities, and we’re thrilled to unveil this unmatched venue right next to Target Field near downtown in the North Loop,” said Ron Bension, president, Live Nation’s Clubs & Theaters division. “At every Fillmore we welcome our guests to make a night of it, not just with our incredible lineup of world-class performers, but also with delicious food, inventive cocktails and craft beers.”

Around the country, Fillmore music halls pay tribute to an early Fillmore San Francisco tradition of placing a basket of apples in the lobby with a sign encouraging guests to take one or more. It was Fillmore San Francisco music promoter Bill Graham’s way of saying “You’re family when you’re in this house.”

The Fillmore Minneapolis is being built in partnership with United Properties. For more information, visit fillmoreminneapolis.comFacebook, along with Twitter and Instagram @FillmoreMPLS.

Joining San Francisco, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Charlotte, NC and Silver Spring, MD, The Fillmore Minneapolis will be the 9th one in the country. The concert venue will be paired with a restaurant, Trax Burgers and Bar, slated to open in mid-February and an Element by Westin Hotel, which will open early 2020. 

About Live Nation Clubs & Theaters

A division of Live Nation Concerts, the world’s leading live concert company, Live Nation Clubs & Theaters promotes over 25,000 shows in 1,700 venues with more than 20 million fans in attendance annually. As the world’s premier network of intimate live music venues, Live Nation Clubs & Theaters oversees legendary spaces including The Fillmore theaters, House of Blues clubs, the Academy Music Group portfolio and more.

Wednesday
Aug072019

FINNOVATION Lab Announces Second Cohort of Social Entrepreneurs for Fellowship Program

Via an August 6 News Release:

Nine Entrepreneurs Chosen for Nine-Month Program Aimed at Growing and Scaling Bold Business Ideas for Sustainable, Systems-Levels Change

FINNOVATION Lab, the social business catalyst known for helping local entrepreneurs launch and scale their ventures, selected nine early-stage social entrepreneurs to make up a second cohort within the FINNOVATION Fellowship Program. The nine-month incubator kicks off this September and will support the fellows as they foster their business ideas in pursuit of lasting social impact.

The selected fellows will receive a grant of $50,000 to cover living expenses in addition to a health insurance stipend, one-on-one mentorship, and tailored curriculum with an emphasis on leadership development and business planning and strategy. Dedicated workspace and business resources are available to the fellows in the FINNOVATION Lab space within the FINNEGANS House (817 5th Ave S. Minneapolis 55404).

The nine fellows, up from five in the first cohort, were selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants who submitted ideas for mission-driven businesses that produce sustainable, systems-level change. Applicants were exceedingly diverse across race, gender, and education compared to the 2018 pool: 57% identified as people of color, 63% female or non-binary, 18% LGBTQ+, and 38% as the first in their family to attend college. After narrowing down to 20 finalists, a panel of innovation leaders judged and scored applicant pitch presentations, looking for top contenders who demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit, leadership, resilience and passion, and business plans that showed potential for financial stability, growth, social impact, and innovation.

“Our first cohort exceeded all expectations. We saw a group of early-stage entrepreneurs, each building incredibly diverse businesses, accomplish individual goals to build something meaningful,” said Connie Rutledge, Managing Director at FINNOVATION Lab. “What we didn’t fully anticipate was the camaraderie and the team spirit within the group. When selecting our second cohort, we chose individuals with a wide range of skills and experiences, knowing they’d all bring something unique to the table.” 

The 20 finalists during FINNOVATION Lab's Selection Day for the Fellowship Program

The second cohort of fellows includes:

·       Lyndsey Calvin: Ascension Medical Devices is revolutionizing post-operative care for transgender women who undergo gender affirming vaginoplasty procedures through a newly developed vaginal stent.

·       Nestor Gomez Jimenez: Litty Solar brings transactive blockchain technologies to solar panel installation, aiming to speed up the adoption of renewable energy while creating accessible employment opportunities in underserved communities.

·       La’Shante Grigsby: Ju+Co Café, a social enterprise café, connects, employs, and inspires women of color through youth development, personalized coaching, and economic opportunities.

·       Judd Grutman: Vonzella aims to provide mission-driven insurance products to underserved and uninsured communities, starting with bail insurance for defendants navigating the bail process.

·       Shannon TL Kearns: Uprising Theatre Company partners with local organizations working on social justice issues to turn emotional engagement into concrete action.

·       Mohamed Malim: Epimonia supports the education and advancement of refugees, creating employment opportunities for refugees and donating 50% of profits to non-profit partners.

·       Katie Myhre: RED Market is an online marketplace connecting sustainable farmers with wholesalers, helping farmers deliver local products and build interdependent relationships with buyers.

·       Jules Porter: Seraph 7 Studios develops console video games with diverse heroes and storylines and offers an applied STEAM work-study program and summer camp.

·       Alysha Price: The Price Dynamic uses empowerment, motivational techniques, and meditation practices to support co-parenting for those working to restructure their families.

FINNOVATION Lab is the brainchild of FINNEGANS Brew Co. Founder Jacquie Berglund, an established social entrepreneur in her own right. She launched the FINNOVATION Lab following four business pillars: Leadership Development, Causes and Context of Social Problem, Human-Centered Design, and Business Planning.

“This Fellowship Program is further solidifying Minnesota as a leader in social innovation,” said Berglund. “It was hard to make our final selections because so many of our applicants were strong contenders. It’s inspiring and only makes us want to keep supporting and encouraging these types of mission-driven ideas.”  

Programming for the second cohort of the Fellowship Program will run through mid-June. It is made possible through generous support from the Bush Foundation, known for its commitment to innovation and creative problem solving.

About FINNOVATION Lab

FINNOVATION Lab’s mission is to create a space for intentional and constant cross-pollination of social entrepreneurship concepts, ideas and networks. Through original programming and partnerships with organizations such as the Neighborhood Development Center, the organization empowers and provides system change leaders with venture service support and access to capital increasing and accelerating their impact. For more information, visit Finn-Lab.com. 

Tuesday
Aug062019

The Southern Theater Announces the August Installment of Good Night at The Southern

Theater, Music, and Dance on The Southern Stage at 7:30 pm on August 19th

Good Night at The Southern on August 19th will offer works ranging from new pieces to revised favorites by Brenna Mosser Dance Works, multi-disciplinary artist Eric Larson, choreographer Jennifer Mack, and performing artist Queen Drea.

Brenna Mosser Dance Works will present work-in-progress Serve Id,  a modern dance quartet performed as a duet for this presentation, inspired by whitetail deer that investigates natural environments found in Minnesota. Toot, a whirlwind of collaborators, ideas, and practices led by Eric Larson, recently began rehearsals for Tweezer Burn and will be sharing initial discoveries. Jennifer Mack will be presenting 3 new works along with dancer, Hannah Benditt. A duet, "No Words just cut in Two" is based off the connection of two family members over space and time. The solo "Occultation" explores losing your grounding, feet, or self and trying to find it again from the perspective of yourself or the audience. The third piece is a brand new work, untitled as of yet.

In "From Black Wombs," created by Queen Drea and collaborators Ryan-Olivia McCoy and Jianna Reynolds, Afro-futurist sisters navigate a bleak world where due to AmeriKKKa's school to prison pipeline, there are no black men. The stress from this reality has left them disoriented and barren. Using poetry, electronica, and movement they seek to heal their wombs by laying waste to the prison industrial complex and giving birth to a NEW America.

The Southern Theater, located at 1420 S Washington Avenue, is thrilled to share the work of these artists and hopes you will join us at the bar starting at 6:30 for a local beer, glass of wine, pop, or a snack.

Tickets are Pay What You Can and are purchased at the door. All proceeds from this event will go to support the artists and The Southern Theater.

Monday
Aug052019

American Red Cross Urgently Needs Blood Donations!

The American Red Cross revealed they are facing a shortage of blood types A, B and O. Through their Missing Types campaign, they've issued an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to give now and help save patient lives. The Red Cross currently has less than a three-day supply of most blood types – and less than a two-day supply of type O blood – for patients. At least a five-day supply is desired.

You can help!

Donate now. Download the Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule your blood or platelet donation appointment. Consider inviting a friend to join you in giving. Another way to help is to host a drive.

Sunday
Aug042019

Water Works Excavation - A Delicate Operation

Editors Note: Mill District resident Doug Verdier has been documenting the digging taking place during late July as he monitors the progress of the excavation phase of the Water Works project. Below is a photo essay of some recent activity.

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Taken from West River Parkway side of the Columbia Mill. Digging to locate a railroad scale that was buried there years ago, and to locate depth of foundation wall. People in photo are the contractor and archaeologists who are overseeing project. They found the scale! It is said to be about 50 feet long and was used to weigh rail cars when loaded with grain. Not certain what will be done regarding the scale at this point. It’s down pretty deep.

Some of the debris excavated from around the Columbia building foundation. A lot of junk and debris was dumped there at one time.

Digging to locate base of foundation of Columbia building on West River Parkway side.

Wide shot of excavation of Columbia foundation. RiverWest is in the background.

Exterior wall of Columbia structure showing temporary stabilization.

Taken July 25, 2019 - Excavating interior of Columbia Mill wall and foundation.

Taken July 25, 2019 - Excavating interior of Columbia Mill building. Fuji Ya can be seen in background.

Closer shot of excavation showing Columbia Mill exterior wall and Fuji Ya exterior wall.

Shot of work site from S 1st Street.

Following are additional photos of excavation of Columbia Mill interior taken July 26. Workers are removing old tires and brick that were placed in window openings of the building when the foundation was filled to prevent collapse of the wall. 

 

Clearing old tires and debris (mostly dirt and old brick) from window openings must be done by hand to prevent damage to remaining structure.

Archeologist in foreground monitoring excavation.

Saturday
Aug032019

July by the Numbers

Downtown real estate market update from Cynthia Froid Group: