The site of Minneapolis's upcoming project. Photo courtesy of Minneapolis

City Council approves next steps for Former Kmart and New Nicollet Project

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The City Council has approved project expectations and a public engagement framework for the Former Kmart and New Nicollet Project.

The City of Minneapolis owns roughly 10 acres of land formerly home to the Kmart store in south Minneapolis. It plans to construct a new Nicollet Avenue, which will connect Nicollet Avenue South of Lake Street to Nicollet north of the Midtown Greenway, and develop the remaining acreage into a high-density, mixed-use walkable district. 

Reopening Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street has been a top City and community priority for decades. Reopening the street will reconnect neighborhoods, reestablish the street grid and set the stage for new development on land currently home to single-story retail buildings and surface parking lots. The Kmart store was built in 1977.

The broad project goals include:

  • Reconnecting people and places.
  • Building safe, equitable and sustainable transportation networks.
  • Building for who is there.
  • Designing space to live, work, shop and play here.
  • Designing safe and healthy communities.

The public engagement framework includes three phases. The first phase will start in early 2022 and focus on creating open dialogues with community members who live, work, shop and visit the area. The second phase will focus on a public space plan and Nicollet Avenue layout plan, which will require City Council approval. The third phase of engagement will discuss the future development of buildings.

“I am thrilled that we have accomplished the site control needed to allow the City of Minneapolis to realize the longstanding priority of reopening Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street to reconnect our Minneapolis neighborhoods with high-quality transit service,” said City Council President Lisa Bender. “As the City embarks on making this project a reality, this engagement plan reflects our priorities to prevent displacement and to support affordable housing, safe and equitable transportation and climate justice. This is an important step and reflects decades of work from City staff, community members and elected leaders.”

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