Hennepin Co. invests millions in Lake Street redevelopment plan

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Hennepin County just received $12 million in federal funds to invest in the Lake Street Improvement Project.

MINNEAPOLIS — There’s a sense of excitement and anticipation for what’s to come for one of Minneapolis’ most culturally diverse hallways.

“Don’t sleep on Lake Street,” said Destinee Shelby, owner of The Kitchen by Baked Brand, a restaurant on Lake St.

It’s a street that was at ground zero during the civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd, spending the past two years in recovery mode.

“The level of devastation we have experienced is not something you can get over in a year,” Lake Street council member Russ Adams explained at the Open Streets East Lake street event on Saturday. “The idea is to kind of bring back a full recovery.”

For Adams, the Lake Street redevelopment investments are a comprehensive deal involving the city and county to see local businesses in the area thrive.

Hennepin County just received $12 million in federal funds to invest in the Lake Street Improvement Project. Part of this project is to expand the B-line bus rapid transit system, providing better access to destinations on Lake Street.

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“People who don’t have transportation, that opens the door for them too,” Shelby said.

While making the street safer for pedestrians and easing traffic flow by converting the street to a two-way, single-lane road, with left-turn lanes at every intersection.

Something Shelby says is long overdue.

“When it’s busy on Lake Street, it’s frustrating sometimes. The way I drive on Lake Street, I’m like coming and going, trying to get there on time,” Shelby said.

When the best is yet to come.

“It’s very necessary because it’s a great place for business, community, events like this and without those improvements it’s pretty hard to keep doing things like that,” Shelby said.

“We’re really excited about Mayor Frey’s announcement for his budget on Monday, we’ll be watching very closely to see public safety, business recovery, all of this could all combine to help get Lake Street where we want to go. let her be,” Adams said.

Construction of the Lake Street Improvement Project is expected to begin next year, with the B-line rapid transit system fully operational by 2024.

For more information on some of the redevelopment events with Lake Street Council, click here.

RELATED: Minneapolis City Council Approves Layout of Hennepin Avenue Redesign Plan

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