The city of Minneapolis will buy the boarded-up Speedway gas station steps from where George Floyd was murdered, the City Council decided Thursday.
That's just the sale of the place; what will ultimately happen to what's become a headquarters for demonstrators won't be decided any time soon.
The city's vision is for a permanent memorial to Floyd and a national racial justice healing center, although Thursday's action reinforced the city position that the timeline for that will be a lengthy community-based process that could take years.
City Council members unanimously approved the purchasing process Thursday for the former gas station at 3744 Chicago Av., which was adorned with protest art and renamed the "People's Way" during protests that erupted after Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020.
The council approved spending $200,000 in taxpayer funds and accepting the equivalent of a $420,000 donation from the owner to acquire the parcel, which likely sits atop contaminated soil from years of use as a gas station.
The official acquisition will likely happen in the first few months of 2023.
The city's immediate plans are to secure the building, which formerly housed a convenience store and has been a concern for some time.
In March, the body of a 45-year-old man was found inside the building. Prosecutors have said he died from a fentanyl overdose and his body was burned; a man was charged in connection with the death but those charges were dropped earlier this year.
Realty Income Corp., a California real estate investment group that owns the parcel, has told city officials it wants to unload the property, in part, out of concerns over liability, according to city documents.
News that the city would take over the property was met with mixed reactions in October, as some activists have worried city involvement could taint the organically born space overlooking George Floyd Square, which is considered hallowed ground by many.
Exactly how the city will secure the site without altering what's there now is unclear.