A youth boxing gym, a yoga studio and corporate restaurant offices could soon move into a long-vacant fire station in a tornado-damaged area of north Minneapolis.

A city planning commission committee will examine a proposal Thursday from Barrio restaurant owner Ryan Burnet to buy the property on 33rd Avenue N. for a nonprofit youth boxing gym under the name Fighting Chance. Its director will be Minneapolis Police Department school resource officer Victor Mills, who is retiring this Saturday.

The plan also involves moving Barrio Restaurant Group’s offices to the second floor, which will also house a yoga studio. Plans call for a community garden to be created on-site.

The city requested proposals for the site in January. It received offers from Burnet and Northside Kitchen Table Cooperative, which had proposed using the ground floor for an artist co-working space. The city chose the gym plan because of the likelihood it could secure financing and start redevelopment quickly.

Burnet has offered to pay $25,000, far below the $130,000 appraised value. A new appraisal based on a commercial use lowered that value, however.

Community Planning & Economic Development staffer Casey Dzieweczynski said they are negotiating a final price, though it will be higher than $25,000.


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