MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – It’s been a fixture on west Lake Street in south Minneapolis for decades, but after closing its doors in 2020, the former Kmart site is now the focus of a major redevelopment project.
The City of Minneapolis recently launched a survey seeking community input. A Nov. 30 deadline to weigh in has now been extended through the end of the year.
The former Sullivan’s grocery story adjacent to the old Kmart is gone, and the decades-old landmark faces the same fate.
“When you look at the site today, it’s not going to take much for it to be transformational,” Minneapolis project supervisor Rebecca Parrell told FOX 9.
Parrell is leading the city’s, “New Nicollet Redevelopment Project,” which calls for reopening a portion of Nicollet Ave.
“To be able to reconnect the communities north of Lake Street and south of Lake Street and to really bring Nicollet Avenue as a commercial corridor reconnection there has been a city goal for many years,” Parrell said.
The city’s stake in the property covers 10 acres of land. Parrell says there will be proposed affordable housing and commercial space, but the vision of the future isn’t the city’s alone.
“One of those pieces to the puzzle is a survey,” Parrell said.
A few months ago, the city commissioned a survey imploring residents to weigh-in.
Parrell says so far, they’ve received more than 4,000 responses.
Now, the Nov. 30 survey deadline has been extended through the end of the year.
“Our real effort for the last month of the survey is to really focus on the folks who live in the four neighborhoods surrounding this sight,” said Parrell.
“It definitely feels like it cuts off two communities,” said longtime Minneapolis resident Alexia Malaga.
FOX 9 spoke with Malaga on Eat Street – a stretch of Nicollet Avenue between Lake Street and Frankline Avenue behind the former Kmart.
“I love the diversity. There’s a lot of fun things to do too,” Malaga said.
The stretch of restaurants and shops on Nicollet Avenue remains an area many consider a gem.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity in that space to do something really special,” Malaga said. “I think if it can be open and people can travel easily from one end to the other, that may just open things up for more shopping, more variety maybe,” said Julie Phillips, who was visiting the area from a nearby suburb.
One thing remains certain, many ideas and challenges are ahead for the intersection.
“I don’t know where we’ll land, but I can see that we’re not going to be able to make everybody happy,” Parnell said.
The old Kmart is expected to come down next spring, but Parrell says there’s still so much to be decided.