Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CPED Document Lies About Neighborhood Support of Hub

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, images are screen grabs from various city documents.

The highlighted part of this document reads that the project's development team met with the "Jordan Area Coalition [sic] and the Northside Residents Redevelopment Council, both of which are supportive but are waiting to write letters of support until after the development team has finalized its design documents for the project."

I honestly don't know how else to characterize that statement other than an outright lie.  While NRRC might be supportive of the project, in the handful of meetings that Catalyst, Ackerberg, and Hennepin County have held with Jordan residents, there has been almost no support for the proposal as a whole.  Among residents who would be directly affected if the site is built as proposed, the development partners have been raked over the coals in both public and private conversations.

(And by the way, whether the error came from CPED or Catalyst, it shouldn't be that hard to get the name Jordan Area Community Council right.  Or the year in which the document was created, for that matter.)

Disclaimer:  I'm speaking from my personal recollection here and not with a specific directive from the JACC board at my disposal.  However, Jordan residents in the impact area are deeply opposed either to the proposal as a whole or to much of its current design.  And JACC has opposed the school board's request for more parking behind their building on the grounds that these two sites are turning too much of our neighborhood into parking lots.

So even without a formal notification from JACC on this site, there is no reasonable way that anyone could characterize the community position as "supportive."

We also have another interesting city document requesting authorization for grant applications.  The Hub is on this proposal, dated...

...October 25, 2011.

That date will come in handy later on in the document when we get to page five, under the section "neighborhood notification."  We get to see how the Hub project stacks up against other proposals in terms of community engagement.

Remember now, this is a document dated October 25, 2011.

At 222 Hennepin Avenue, the North Loop and Downtown neighborhoods wrote letters of support dated August 10, 2011 and August 1, 2011, respectively.  They had at least eighty-five days prior to this document to review plans.

At 430 Oak Grove Street, the Loring Park community indicated a motion in support of the project.  That motion, which was unanimous, happened forty-three days prior to this document.

At 700 Central Ave NE, the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood Association indicated unanimous board approval on August 18, sixty-seven days before this funding application.

At 1100 2nd St S, a proposal was anticipated to be heard at a neighborhood meeting in November.  That proposal, by the way, is a private market deal that requires no zoning changes.

At Artspace Jackson Flats, a letter of support from the Logan Park neighborhood was issued on June 5, 2011 - 142 days before this document.

I'm going to let the Bryant Lofts summary speak for itself:
Bryant Lofts a/k/a Track 29 (2813 to 2841 Bryant Ave. S., 811 28th St. W.): On January 19, 2011, The Board of Directors of the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association [LHENA] voted to not recommend approval of this project, citing concerns regarding building materials, height, design and other matters. Similar concerns prompted a group of neighbors to subsequently appeal the Planning Commission’s approval of the project. The developer then engaged in a series of meetings with the appellants, LHENA’s Zoning and Planning Committee and other interested parties, which resulted in project modifications that ultimately resolved the appeal and enabled the project to move forward with conditions attached.
Cameron Building (756 4th Street N.): The North Loop Neighborhood Association has prepared a letter of support dated August 1, 2011.
I wonder how long the developers engaged with the community before finally getting their letter of support (dated 85 days before this funding application with the city).

The Cameron Building had approval from the North Loop neighborhood on August 1, 2011.

The Grain Belt Office Building held an RFP process and four development groups made presentations to the Sheridan Neighborhood Organization on September 26, 2011.

 A site called Parcel A saw presentations as early as March 12, 2008.

Riverside Plaza had community support by July of 2010.

Seward Commons, Phase II had neighborhood support on April 28, 2011.

Spirit on Lake had community approval on September 2, 2010.

At our beloved Hub project, in case you missed the highlighted blue section above, "staff from Catalyst and Ackerberg will be meeting with the Jordan Area Community Council, the West Broadway Coalition, and others, as soon as site control has been achieved."

I said before that the community engagement process around the Hub proposal has been fundamentally flawed.  I'm beginning to realize exactly how true that statement is.


  1. The irony here is that I had a different post in mind about the hub. But since the city changed around its website, many of the document links have gone dead. I was looking for the original proposed zoning changes when I came across this info. And I wouldn't have even known these documents existed if the city had just handled continuity of its live links better.

  2. I thought it was very interesting how CPED wrote that Jordan was in favor of the plan when clearly the neighborhood is not.

  3. On November 8th, 2011 the Jordan Community Housing and Development Committee was given a presentation by Catalyst Community Partners asking for support of the HUB project in the form of a letter of recommendation from the Jordan Community Council Board.

    After hearing the short presentation, the Housing Committee approved sending the request to the JACC Board.

    To my knowledge, at no time prior to these dates was JACC made aware of this project.

    The next evening a second presentation was made in Jordan with significant resistance to the plan voiced by community members and the letter of support was denied by the Board.

    While no one wants to miss opportunities that may present themselves to our community, It is important that developers and planners making requests of the community support come adequately prepared to answer tough questions regarding the impact of proposed initiatives and allow adequate time to get an informed community consensus.

    It is also important for JACC committees to ask difficult questions about the implications of potential developments and check the facts while allowing time for public comment before making recommendations. I believe we are headed in that direction.

  4. I was not at the November housing meeting for JACC, but I was in attendance on December 13. (The same day this document was dated, although the meeting likely occurred after the document had already been finalized.)

    At the December meeting no one spoke in favor of the project, although I do know that one or two people in attendance are supporters. What 1915bung indicates is clear information that shows community support for the proposal going in reverse by the time this document was drafted.

    The partners in the proposal knew fully well this was the case, and yet somebody decided to insert misleading language anyway. Who? And why?

  5. Many long time community members do not have access to computers/internet perhaps the people did not think it would be seen in time by anyone from the community. Many of the people that live in Jordan are still fighting to try and keep their homes. http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/07/11/north-minneapolis-getting-gentrified.html
    Many people even though it is said there are resources for people effected by the May 2011 tornado, we know other wise, because we are living it.I have very good friends that live in the Jordan neighborhood.....

  6. Catalyst has been embraced by the Northside Community for the it's willingness to work with community leaders to develop economic alternatives of mutual benefit.

    However, By pursuing this ill conceived development that clearly has no community support, they are quickly burning through any political capitol they once had.


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