Hennepin County Board Adopts Strategic Investment Framework

By robb, November 9, 2011 7:03 am

The County Board adopted the Minnehaha-Hiawatha Community Works Strategic Investment Framework, which will coordinate the multiple jurisdictions involved with the Minnehaha-Hiawatha Community Works Capital Project.

The project implements activities that enhance economic vitality, improve natural systems, and strengthen community connections in the Minnehaha-Hiawatha corridor area. The Framework will guide policymakers in making private improvements within the corridor, supporting other public and private investments in the area.

The framework characterizes the corridor as a diagonal ladder, reflecting the unique orientation of the street grid and rail lines in the area. The ladder concept conveys the need for two diagonal avenues (Minnehaha and Hiawatha avenues) and key east-west streets (Lake, 38th, and 46th streets) to be strongly linked to support mobility, access and economic vitality. The three major cross streets form the primary rungs of the ladder, creating three neighborhood districts around the three LRT stations.

The project targets investment to support and hasten transition from existing heavy industrial to livable, vibrant business nodes that build on the strong linkages between the LRT stations and Minnehaha Avenue. This transition would be accomplished by infrastructure investments that improve pedestrian, bike and vehicle connectivity; support major transit-oriented development to retain and create jobs, spur affordable market-rate housing, and support community retail and services; and create green pedestrian and bike connections.

To date, the County Board has appropriated $3.1 million for the project, leveraging more than $250,000 in funding from other entities. Work on the project will continue through 2017, with an additional $6 million in funding.

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