The reopening of Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street is a long way off, but plans are underway to have an agreement written up between Minneapolis and a developer by July 2013.
David Frank, director of transit development, submitted a report to the City Council’s Transportation and Public Works Committee this morning establishing a year-long timeline and boundariesfor the long-awaited project.
A decision in the 1970s to allow Kmart to build at Nicollet and Lake has prompted criticism for decades that the blocking of the intersection has broken up the neighborhood and been an urban planning fiasco. Now, the move to reopen Nicollet is gaining momentum as the city studies the possibility of streetcars running through the area and how to increase access to the neighborhood from Interstate 35W.
Today’s report envisions a community engagement process beginning in mid-August, the city appropriating money for project development costs in December, and plans for the developer to have control over the site – which involves various owners and leases - by January. An expanded community engagement process would also unfold next year.
City staff have already reached out to property owners, tenants and developers, and determining the funding needed for the project, according to the report.