Above: A 2008 Toyota vehicle lodged in the side of Greenway Heights apartment building. (Courtesy of Minneapolis Police Department)
A month after the grand opening celebration for the first affordable housing apartment project along the Midtown Greenway – built through a complex web of public funding sources – a car crashed into the side of the building early on Tuesday. It hit the dividing wall between two apartments, startling sleeping families at 1:30 a.m.
“It didn’t just crash into the building, I mean it was in the building," said Kathy Wetzel-Mastel, of the building’s co-developer PRG Inc. “The fact that nobody was hurt is sort of amazing."
Greenway Heights, located at 28th Street and Bloomington Avenue, is largely populated by low-income families. The majority of its apartments are three and four bedrooms, somewhat of a rarity for new developments in the city these days.
Tenants began moving in this February, but it took several months to complete work the building's exterior.
The neighborhood has been pursuing the project for more than 10 years. The project received about $1 million in city affordable housing funds, as well as tax increment financing aid and substantial funding from Hennepin County, the Met Council and neighborhood coffers.
“It’s a special building in that it’s been so hard and it’s a lovely building,” said Carol Pass of the East Phillips Improvement Coalition, the local neighborhood group. “The people like it."
Above: Photos of the interior damages to the new apartment building (courtesy of Kathy Wetzel-Mastel).
The crash followed a chase with police, based on a police report. A 24-year-old suspect was charged with fleeing police in a motor vehicle and giving false information to law enforcement.
Christian Arias, who witnessed the incident, said the driver was likely intoxicated and had been hitting his wife, as well as cursing and assaulting people in the street. While fleeing police, the driver careened through an alley.
“He would have killed anybody that was there at the wrong time,” said Arias, who was assaulted by the driver.
Wetzel-Mastel said insurance will cover the damages. The interior damage will be fixed by next Wednesday, but it will take about two weeks to repair the exterior because it needs a new window, she said.
Below: A photo of the newly completed Greenway Heights project (City of Minneapolis)