A new medical center is coming to Lake Street, replacing a former dollar store destroyed in the civil unrest that engulfed the south Minneapolis business corridor three years ago.

Southside Community Health Services has served low-income and uninsured populations south of Lake Street for more than 50 years. Its shoestring budget is primarily funded by the federal government, and while the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration regularly ranks it among the top 10% in patient outcomes, it's never had quite enough space.

Southside Community Health Services has a small medical clinic and dental clinic that are separated by a mile. Its medical clinic is co-located with the Green Central Dual Language Elementary School at 3416 4th Av. S.

"It's such a long overdue project," said executive director Ann Cazaban. "I have staff sitting in hallways, and we're just kind of one on top of another and we're just not able to meet our needs in our current space."

Southside has been looking to build a new clinic and consolidate its services — primary care, dental, vision and integrated behavioral health — under one roof. But the COVID-19 pandemic derailed planning, and an early proposal to construct a new building in the Sabathani Community Center's parking lot at 310 E. 38th St. fell through.

Eventually Southside was connected with Ryan Cos., which owns the land at 10th Avenue S. and East Lake Street and had been looking for a community asset to occupy it. Southside has since signed a ground lease at 1010 E. Lake St.

With congressionally directed spending, state funds, a watershed grant and philanthropic donations — including $2.6 million from MacKenzie Scott — Southside has now raised nearly a quarter of the $30 million price tag to construct a 30,000-square-foot community clinic.

"We are all aware that the Lake Street corridor bears the scars of intentional, generational, economic divestment and Southside's role as a safety net provider in the area will contribute to community healing and long-term prosperity after the pandemic and civil unrest of 2020," said Allison Sharkey of the Lake Street Council in a statement to the Legislature.

Southside is still raising money, but plans to break ground this summer and finish construction by mid-2025. Once completed, the clinic to be known as "One Southside" will add a diagnostic laboratory and mammography suite.

"Just 36% of all low-income South Minneapolis residents have received care at a community health center, leaving over 56,000 whose needs may be unmet," wrote the area's City Council member, Jason Chavez, in a letter of support. "Southside has a new patient wait list of over 1,000 for dental. Medical and behavioral health provider panels are full."

In 2022, Southside served more than 10,000 patients. Last year more than 40% were uninsured. The clinic accepts everyone regardless of ability to pay and uses its federal grant from the Health Resources Services Administration to subsidize its operating costs, making it possible to provide sliding-fee discounts to underinsured people, said Southside Finance Director John Patrikus.

"We're seeing along with the rebirth of Lake Street occurring after the unrest, more local ownership and more businesses that are directly serving the needs of the community," said Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Director Erik Hansen, "and having a health clinic is in that same vein."