As an Indian-rooted community developer shifts some of its attention to W. Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis, some members of the Indian community complain that it's straying from its mission.
They met Monday night at a shopping center created by the developer, once known as American Indian Business Development Corporation and recently renamed Great Neighborhoods Development Corporation.
That name change, the developer's recent sale of a business center on Franklin Avenue, and its plans for a $60 million North Side development are causing some to feel abandoned.
"There's been mission shift, mission drift," said Kelly Morgan, who said the Broadway focus will undermine work that's still to be done on Franklin. She organized the meeting.
Not so, said Theresa Carr, executive director of Great Neighborhoods. She rejected the idea that the developer is stripping equity from its Franklin property to finance the North Side.
The developer is best known for its Franklin Circles shopping center and the adjacent Ancient Traders Market. It also owned the Franklin Business Center until recently, when it was sold for about $2.5 million. After paying off loans, Carr plans to use the more than $600,000 remaining to buy land. Some of that is for the Broadway project, but some also was used to buy land on Bloomington Avenue in Phillips, Carr said.
She said the use of the proceeds on the North Side is a temporary measure that will be repaid once permanent financing is arranged for a project that includes a new YWCA and retail.Carr said the old name didn't fit any more. It was chosen when Phillips had the largest concentration of urban Indians in the nation, but that population has dispersed, she said. The developer's board has one Indian among its seven members.
She said the nonprofit talked to many community members before heading for Broadway. "Our expertise is developing in areas of concentrated poverty and crime. We go after the real estate no one else wants," she said.
Carr said the jobs center was sold to a private developer as a business decision. The building was cheaply built, and it's difficult to raise money for renovation, she said.
The nonprofit developer couldn't afford to lose money on that property, she said.
Those who met Monday night talked of petitioning, research and consulting an attorney about their options.
Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438