US (MN): Pledging $12.3M to build urban farm in south Minneapolis

A seven-year push to build an "Urban Farm" in the middle of a heavily industrial area of Minneapolis is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute, or EPNI, recently told a Minneapolis City Council committee that it could raise $12.3 million to secure a 7.6-acre site of the former Roof Depot at the corner of Longfellow Avenue and 28th Street East.

The City Council has agreed to give EPNI two years to raise the money but is split 6-6, with one council member abstaining from giving EPNI exclusive development rights over the site. The plot sits next to a foundry and an asphalt company in an area that is zoned industrial but also is part of the city’s Southside Green Zone plan.

EPNI President Dean Dovolis told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his group is confident they can raise the money but is concerned about the Urban Farm project becoming reality if his group is not given exclusive development rights at the old Roof Depot property. 

“We are telling the City Council we don’t need any more pollution here,” Dovolis said. “Let’s really honor the Green Zone philosophy and make this a green industry with hydro and agricultural, which would be a big part of this project.”

The City Council is eyeing the site as an expansion of its Public Works Department by putting offices there for its water and sewer maintenance employees because there currently is not enough room at the city’s water and sewer maintenance facility. 

Read the complete article at KSTP Eyewitness News 

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