East Phillips community leaders have a dream: To increase the livability of their notoriously polluted neighborhood. And they have a plan: Renovate the former Roof Depot and Sears warehouse site into a community-owned multi-use resource. It would include an indoor Urban Farm – producing healthy foods in what is now a food desert – space for small business, jobs training programs, low-income housing, and a large solar array.
Six years ago, the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) was negotiating to buy the Roof Depot site, but the city of Minneapolis intervened and bought the property. The city wants the land to consolidate its Water Works Maintenance Facility, currently in Southeast Minneapolis, with Public Works operations already on Hiawatha Avenue next to the Roof Depot site.
The city is blocking what would be a community asset and replacing it with a project that harms neighborhood livability.
The city is breaking multiple promises its made, and policies its passed, to address the kinds of racial injustice that exist in East Phillips.Continue reading