MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minneapolis neighborhood at the center of the unrest following George Floyd’s death is starting to return to life.
The corner of Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue was once home to the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building, which was destroyed by rioters. Nearby businesses were also targeted, but several have now reopened.READ MORE: ‘We Are Open’: Amid Lake Street Damage, Longfellow Market Is An Oasis For Food And Medicine
The rebuilt and refreshed Cub Foods near Lake and Minnehaha welcomed customers back last week, after being closed for several months. Neighborhood resident Andy Ramstad is happy to see its return.
“It’s heart-soothing to me to see all this coming back,” Ramstad said.
Especially when you consider what the intersection looked like late last spring following Floyd’s death. According to the Lake Street Council, there are 27 street-level businesses around the intersection. Eleven are gone because their building was significantly damaged or destroyed, like Minnehaha Lake Wine and Spirits. But the other 16 have reopened either in their same spot or a new location.READ MORE: Owners Of Businesses Damaged During Civil Unrest Plea For State Aid To Rebuild
Ingrid Rasmussen is part of Longfellow Rising, a collection of business owners and local leaders dedicated to helping the area return to its original form, while celebrating what makes it special.
“We want to come back in a way that honors the righteous anger that followed the murder of George Floyd,” Rasmussen said. “Values like economic justice, cultural vitality, racial justice.”
She says several property owners who have nothing more than an empty lot now still aim to rebuild, as others — like the Hub Bike Co-op — simply hope the outside community returns. Located just two doors down from the Third Precinct, staff celebrate each reopening nearby, without losing sight of the difficult journey to get here. Kirsten Powers is Hub’s marketing coordinator.
“Appreciate the gravity of what’s happened, but also support the people that are here, because that’s how it’s gonna turn into, you know, something better in the future,” Powers said.MORE NEWS: Resilience Of Lake Street Businesses On Full Display Months After Unrest
Also near that intersection was an affordable housing development that burned down two days after Floyd’s death. It was still under construction at the time. The property owners have rebuilt the exact same structure in the same spot, and say it’s about 50% finished. It should ready by fall.