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Minneapolis City Council has announced that work will begin on redeveloping the site of the Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street Kmart store next year.

The council approved a framework for the project Friday. The city plans to demolish the store, which sits on around 10 acres of land. The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

The store, which was shut down when it was bought by the city, was the only remaining Kmart in the state. 

The city’s vision for the land is to become a “high-density, mixed-use walkable district,” according to a release.

“I am thrilled that we have accomplished the site control needed to allow the City of Minneapolis to realize the longstanding priority of reopening Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street to reconnect our Minneapolis neighborhoods with high-quality transit service,” Council President Lisa Bender said in a statement.

The first stage of redevelopment will begin in early 2022 and involve gathering community feedback. Next, the city will work to develop a layout plan for the area, which will require council approval.

Demolition was due to have taken place in 2020, but was pushed back following the civil unrest, with the Kmart serving as a temporary post office after the destruction of two USPS post offices in the May civil unrest.

The city bought the Kmart, which first opened in 1977, in March of 2020. Terminating the store’s lease cost the city around $9 million. 

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