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City will not move forward with proposed MPD temporary precinct

The decision to end negotiations on a property to house MPD's Third Precinct comes after community pushback.

The City of Minneapolis will not move forward with a new temporary home for the 3rd Police Precinct after community opposition.

The city announced on Wednesday that negotiations with property owners at the potential new site had ceased shortly before the city council was set to vote on it . The building would have provided a temporary replacement for precinct, which was set on fire in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd.

The new precinct would have been located at 2633 Minnehaha Ave. near the Seward neighborhood. Under the proposal, the city would have spent $1.2 million in rent for the building for three years, plus an additional one-time patent of $1.2 million to make the building suitable for police use.

The building is owned by Wayzata-based Lothenbach Properties and had been occuped by printing company Imagine Express, which is also owned by Bob Lothenbach.

The council was set to vote on the proposal last month, but the decision was delayed after residents and some council members expressed concerns over replacing the precinct amid conversations to reform public safety.

According to KARE11, the building was also vandalized with anti-police messages on Monday. 

"Imagine Express has ended negotiations with the City of Minneapolis on their possible sublease of our Minnehaha Avenue property," a statement from the company said. "We intend to move in a different direction with respect to the property."

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Since the Third Precinct burned, MPD officers have used the Minneapolis Convention Center as a temporary space. But the Convention Center won’t be able to house the officers if events booked for fall and winter are allowed to take place under COVID-19 guidelines, according to the Star Tribune.

Community organizations opposed to the new precinct planned to gather at the site Wednesday. After the decision was announced to cease negotiations with the property, the event, organized by groups including Seward Police Abolition and Reclaim the Block, became a “block party" to celebrate. 

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