Getting New Voices Involved in Development
To get minority developers involved in a development on Minneapolis' north side, the city's Planning and Economic Development Department sent out a request for proposals from minority or women-owned developers. Mobilize Design & Architecture, headed by Jamil Ford, won the contract to redevelop vacant buildings sitting on property forfeited to the city.
"Ford’s team named the project Baldwin Square, in honor of James Baldwin. The buildings sit at 42nd and Fremont Avenues, a former streetcar stop that’s now a bus stop. Soon, the corner will become a stop for a planned bus rapid transit line," Oscar Perry Abello reports for Next City. The group hopes the plan will be in line with the needs and desires of the community.
"After acquiring the tax-forfeited property, instead of going straight to developers with a request for proposals, the city went first to the community, attending meetings with residents to explain what zoning allowed on the lot and to gather ideas from residents about what they wanted in the space," Perry Abello writes. The city hopes that what goes into the property will focus on what the community asked for and wants.