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Continued: Hennepin County offers new site for North Side social services hub

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 13, 2013 - 11:34 AM

At Century Plaza on a recent afternoon, Stephanie Lemon-Suggs, a mother of three who lives in north Minneapolis, said she is eager for a new hub that doesn’t involve logistical problems and cost. Coming downtown is difficult for her partner, and their car needs repairs. And the next nearest hub “is all the way up in Brooklyn Center, so I’ve got to hop from bus to bus to bus,” she said.

In addition, parking near the plaza can be a headache — and expensive, a hurdle for those already struggling with financial problems.

North Side developer the Ackerberg Group was on board with the earlier site, and with this one. Ackerberg is expected to redevelop the building and lease it to the county.

When the last site fell through, Stuart Ackerberg said he wouldn’t fight neighborhood opposition. “It’s got to be a win-win,” he said at the time.

Hennepin County Commissioner Linda Higgins represents the area. “That’s a building that’s been vacant a long time,” she said. The site is amid other industrial buildings, offices and near housing, but not in an area designed for commercial pedestrian traffic.

Sabre and Higgins, however, noted that there are good bus connections to the site. “If we can have something that’s more easily accessible, the people will appreciate it,” she said.

Barring another rejection, the goal is to begin work on the building this fall. “We’re hopeful,” Sabre said.

So far, it’s been smooth, or as Higgins said, “I haven’t had people yelling at me.”

Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747 @rochelleolson

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