US Bank announced today that it intends to donate its 2800 E. Lake Street office to Seward Redesign, a nonprofit community development company. Seward Redesign will work with 4RM + ULA, an architectural firm, to transform the property into up to four subdivided plots to include affordable housing, commercial and retail space, community services, and arts and cultural destinations. The partnership with 4RM + ULA represents an innovative model that focuses on design and aesthetics, community input and activation and involves several People of Color partners.
“In response to the unrest following the death of George Floyd, our communities have made significant efforts to stabilize Lake Street and rebuild it more equitably,” said Taylor Smrikárova, project director, Seward Redesign. “Our team is working hard to ensure that the US bank property is upgraded as a demonstration site for wealth creation for communities of color. When this shared vision is achieved, the result will be that each package will be owned by BIPOC-led companies or community organizations. “
Seward Redesign recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and is the only community development company with an exclusive focus on the Seward and Longfellow neighborhoods of South Minneapolis. 4RM + ULA is a nationally renowned, award-winning company with an extensive portfolio in the Twin Cities.
“We are honored and honored to have the opportunity to support this innovative process,” said James Garrett, Jr., partner at 4RM + ULA. “Our goal is to create a new model for equitable development and to show new ways in which architects can get involved and collaborate with the community.”
The basis for the winning proposal from Seward Redesign and 4RM + ULA were strategic partnerships with the Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio (CLUES) and the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS). Both CLUES and NABS were invited to own and co-develop certain properties. Preliminary project concepts include:
· An intensive social engagement and activation process to ensure broad and diverse participation.
· Creative temporary uses and location activation strategies, including pop-up retail establishments, public art installations and community events / meeting rooms.
· CLUES owned to provide long-term service to the South Minneapolis Latino communities, including affordable housing, customer service, and an arts and technology center
· NABS property including a national center for truth and healing, affordable housing, and retail locations.
· A development owned and operated by 4RM + ULA including affordable housing and commercial / retail space.
· The possibility for another people-of-color developer / owner to help develop a remaining parcel.
“After listening and learning through an extensive RFP process with community partners, we are excited to announce our plan to donate this property to Seward Redesign,” said Reba Dominski, US Bank’s chief social responsibility officer. “We were looking for a community-minded developer who would be aligned with our racial justice commitment throughout the property donation process – intermittently and after the site was redeveloped. Seward Redesign thoroughly knows and understands the Seward and Longfellow boroughs and will bring strong relationships, credibility to drive community engagement and technical capacity to the project. “
The development will be in line with community contributions and will include a combination of affordable housing, commercial and retail locations, and outdoor communal spaces. Seward Redesign and 4RM + ULA are investigating a number of interim uses for the property to engage the neighborhood through art and culture, while also creatively seeking community feedback on the ongoing use of the property. A citizen participation process will begin in the next few months.
Less than a mile from the Lake Street location, Seward Redesign is nearing completion of the Seward Commons Master Plan, a traffic-oriented, mixed-use, multi-stage redesign. The future master plan for the redevelopment of the Lake Street property will be part of a larger vision for equitable development in the Seward / Longfellow neighborhoods.
The property on Lake Street was damaged during the May 2020 riots. Shortly thereafter, the US bank set up a mobile banking unit in the parking lot that will continue to provide banking services to the local community until the redevelopment completes the former commercial building at 3600 E. Lake Street in 2022. The US bank is also building a new store at 919 E. Lake Street due to open in 2022.
To learn more about Seward Redesign, visit redesigninc.org. To learn more about 4RM + ULA, visit www.4rmula.com
About Seward Redesign
Seward Redesign is a not for profit community development company founded in 1969. We’re dedicated to improving the Seward and Greater Longfellow neighborhoods of South Minneapolis. The organization provides full community development services including residential and commercial real estate development, infrastructure advocacy and small business development.
About 4RM + ULA
4RM + ULA designs for the constantly evolving city of the 21st century. We believe in celebrating existing structures and improving engagement and communication between customers and the community. We incorporate new technology and building practices, and we are constantly looking for innovative, artful ways to improve the quality of life in our community. We bring award-winning design and development through mutually beneficial partnerships that have a positive impact on the community through creative, high quality, environmentally conscious design and engagement.
Via the US bank
US Bancorp is the parent company of the US Bank National Association, with nearly 70,000 employees and assets of $ 567 billion as of September 30, 2021. The Minneapolis-based company serves millions of customers locally, nationally and globally through a diversified mix of business areas: consumer and business banking; Payment services; Corporate & commercial banking; and asset management and investment services. The company has been recognized for its approach to digital innovation, social responsibility and customer service, including being named one of the world’s most ethical companies in 2021 and Fortune’s most admired national bank. Learn more at usbank.com/about.