The Minneapolis Urban League must be getting serious about belt-tightening -- it's putting a league building named after the wife of its top executive up for sale.
The Sharon Sayles Belton Community Service Center at 411 E. 38th St. is on the market for $875,000. The 2002 building is named after the former mayor of the same name. She is the spouse of Steven Belton, the league's president and CEO.
It's one of two buildings the league is selling. Also on the block is a 1959 building at 2201 Blaisdell Avenue S. occupied by a charter school that the city values at $1.5 million. The combined square footage is more than 28,000 square feet, with the Blaisdell building almost three times the size of the building on 38th. The Blaisdell building formerly was used for the league's Urban Academy, which closed on June 5.
Belton couldn't be reached immediately for comment, but area Council Member Elizabeth Glidden said he gave her two reasons for selling the 38th Street building. One was that the building wasn't being used by the league so there was no operational reason to keep it. The other was financial.
Belton said in an interview earlier this year that the league had been renting the site on 38th to nonprofit organizations and would be evaluating the organization's building use. Its headquarters is located at 2100 Plymouth Av. N. The sale comes at a time of rising optimism on E. 38th because of the opening last month of the Seward Co-op's Friendship store.
In the most recent tax-exempt filing to be disclosed, the Minneapolis Urban League reported a loss of about $204,000 for 2013, compared to a loss of about $379,000 the previous year. It reported $5.1 milion in net assets.
The Metropolitan Education for Future Employment charter school occupies the Blaisdell property, but had a clause in its one-year lease that allowed the sale, according to Tony Scallon, a founder. The school is able to finish the year there.