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Affordable housing, bank planned for Wells Fargo site damaged in riots

The bank branch was demolished last month after being heavily damaged in the riots last May.
Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is partnering with an affordable housing nonprofit to redevelop the site of its south Minneapolis branch, which was destroyed in last May's civil unrest. 

Wells Fargo on Monday announced it is teaming up with Project for Pride in Living (PPL) and they've signed a letter of intent to redevelop the site at 3030 Nicollet Ave. S, near the infamous Minneapolis Kmart, which is also slated for redevelopment (though is serving temporarily as a Post Office).

When complete, the project will include a new bank branch, affordable housing units, commercial space and other uses that will come from a community engagement process set to begin in May. 

The branch and office space that was heavily damaged by arson following George Floyd's killing was demolished last month. 

“The destruction of our bank building and businesses on the Lake Street corridor was traumatic for our team and for so many in this South Minneapolis neighborhood,” Laurie Nordquist, Central Lead Region President for Wells Fargo, said in the release.

"As we thought about transforming the Lake and Nicollet site, we looked for a development partner that shared our desire to work with the surrounding community to ultimately inform how the site can better serve the neighborhood. 

"PPL and the team they assembled brought the creativity in thinking and commitment to this process that will allow Wells Fargo to continue serving the banking needs of our customers while also putting the site to more uses that directly benefit our neighbors," she added.

The first phase of construction at the site will be for the new LEED-certified Wells Fargo branch and about 100 units of housing over first-floor commercial and community space. 

In total, the site will be home to 200 units of housing, with the majority affordable and meeting Green Communities standards. What's more, Wells Fargo says 35% of project expenditures for the site will go to "diverse workforces."

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Wells Fargo and PPL have teamed up with the Cultural Wellness Center, which will lead an "extensive community process" to inform future uses and the overall development project. The community process will include online meetings held between May and August, with the first occurring on May 13. More information on those meetings here

Wells Fargo and PPL will use what they learn from the community sessions to understand how the development of the site can best serve the community, the release says. They'll refine plans for the site this fall based on feedback. 

Construction is set to begin in 2022, with the first building opening in 2023. 

This project could qualify for a Metropolitan Council grant that would cover up to $150,000 in pre-development costs, the Business Journal notes.

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