The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians is planning to demolish several blighted buildings in Minneapolis and replace them with a mixed-use development that will include about 115 affordable rental apartments, its Minneapolis Embassy and a health care clinic.
The project will be built in a gritty industrial area that’s in proximity to several highly desirable transportation nodes near the intersection of 17th Avenue S. and Cedar Avenue. The site is sandwiched between Hiawatha Avenue and the Hiawatha Bike Trail.
The area is also considered the gateway to the American Indian Cultural Corridor, which, according to a news release, is home to the greatest concentration of urban American Indian people in Minnesota. An estimated 2,100 Red Lake Band members and their descendants live in the metro. The Red Lake Reservation includes more than 900,000 acres in nine northwestern Minnesota counties and is home to 5,590 enrolled members of the tribe. An estimated 6,000 members live off the reservation.
The tribe recently paid for $1.73 million for several adjacent parcels, totaling 37,367 square feet, that are now home to Amble’s Machinery Hardware & Steel.
In a statement, Red Lake Band Chairman Darrell Seki Sr. said, “We are excited to build a strong, healthy affordable housing community for Native Americans in this culturally significant area that will not only benefit our own tribal members but also the entire Minneapolis community and Seward neighborhood.”
Ashley Freitag, co-president of the Seward Neighborhood Group, also praised the project. “Redevelopment of the Amble Hardware site has been a longtime goal of the Seward Neighborhood Group. We are excited about the Mino-bimaadiziwin housing development and support the efforts of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians.”
The project is still in the planning stages, and the tribe is still finalizing financing.
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