|The City of Minneapolis has recently released a request for proposals (RFP) on a long, narrow strip of land known as the “Guthrie Liner” parcel in the east side of the city.
The Minneapolis Star Tribute reported on March 18th that the city is opening bids for private developers who want to build property on the South Washington Street piece of land. The city plans on favoring proposals dedicated to housing from developers who will reserve at least 20% of their units to lower-class income earners. The city also wants the buildings to be four to eight stories high and to have a retail presence.
“Washington Avenue could be a happening, bustling boulevard teaming with vibrancy, people, and shopping,” said Jacob Frey, a member of the City Council. “To realize this potential, however, we need proposals that activate the street level in a big way, so substantial ground floor retail is an absolute must.”
The parcel is a narrow, 24,000 square foot strip of land and takes up roughly 33% of the city block. It already has a city-owned parking ramp with close to a thousand available spots — more than enough to accommodate new tenants.
The city’s RFP stated that the proposals “should contribute to this mix of activity by creating a unique place, providing services or experiences, and/or drawing in visitors, employees and/or residents.” The city had opened up development in the area as early as 2010. The “Guthrie Liner” parcel used to be L-shaped before the American Academy of Neurology, a non-profit organization, built its headquarters on the Chicago Avenue side that year. A real estate development firm, Artspace Projects, Inc., was supposed to build property on the Washington Avenue side, but the project fell through and the city took back the land.
The city hopes to revitalize the strip with the RFP, proposals for which are due by May 20th.