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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dan Coleman made a name on the Minnesota championship basketball team at Hopkins High School. He played for the Gophers and professionally overseas.
Since retiring, he has built a career in real estate. When he bought a commercial property seven months ago, he had no idea it would land in the eye of an international storm.
Coleman was a smooth-shooting forward for the Gophers. He is part of a family of basketball tradition, of which he made his mark.
“Great experience. I loved … playing in front of the home crowd and everything, and just everybody I grew up with,” Coleman said. “That was a great treat.”
While playing professionally overseas, he started to invest in another family tradition: real estate. Amongst his acquisitions is a building that features apartments, and he’s partnered for a restaurant called Dragon Wok on the street level.
He bought it in March, then COVID hit. Next came a bigger surprise: his property is right across the street from where George Floyd lost his life.
“Civil rights-wise, I understand everything that’s going on,” Coleman said. “But the on a different end, the business end of it, you know, from landlording and stuff, you know, there was a lot going on on this corner. People were feeling unsafe.”
Coleman and his partner in the restaurant, Rashad West, are trying to move the area forward, which will be a challenge. They want the optics to change.
“We’re trying to bring some happiness to the corner,” West said.
What you feel is an uncertainty. Traffic can’t move through, and there does not appear to be a plan.
“I think the city hasn’t announced their plans for it, and we’re kinda going into winter,” Coleman said. “This area was kind of on the uptick before all this changed.”
But this is where he grew up, and this is where he made his name and made memories on the court. And this is where he plans on staying, to help re-build in confusing times.
“We’re not going anywhere,” he said. “This is a change, but it’s not affecting me in terms of not participating or not wanting to own more in the Powderhorn neighborhood. I’ve grown up in south Minneapolis my whole life, so it’s a change, but it’s not a deterrent.”