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Minneapolis takes small step toward Nicollet-Lake Kmart land deal

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Might we soon see a completely open Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street in south Minneapolis?

Well no, "soon" wouldn't be accurate. But the city has taken a step toward getting it done.

The city has a deal in place to buy apart of the 10-acre site for $5.3 million, the Business Journal reports – specifically the land where the former Supervalu grocery store sits, just west of the Kmart.

The city council still has to approve it, the Star Tribune notes, and a spokesperson with the mayor's office told the paper residents "should not be expecting bulldozers or construction any time soon."

The Kmart and vacant SuperValu that sit on land that cuts off Nicollet Avenue, one of the oft-traveled roads in the area, right when it hits Lake Street (itself a busy thoroughfare.)

It happened nearly 40 years ago, in the late '70s, so the two blocks could be joined for retail development and the parking lot, the City of Minneapolis says on its website dedicated to undoing that decision.

But since then, Lake and Nicollet have become busy commercial corridors, and the intersection itself an activity center, the city's Lake and Nicollet Redevelopment Plan says. So reopening Nicollet as one continuous street has been a priority "for years."

The goals? To make foot, bike and vehicle traffic better in the area; restore a main road that connects the north and south sides of Lake Street; revitalize the area for businesses; and help pave the way to redevelop the tax base there, according to the city.

But there are multiple parties who have to agree – two different landowners and two different tenants, MinnPost explains in a post from last year. So it's complicated.

There are still a lot of things to figure out despite the small step Thursday, MPR says – including finding the approximately $8 million needed to buy the Kmart land, and negotiating a solution with the store since it still has a few decades left on its lease there.

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