From the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association – Where Every Story Has Three Sides
By Bruce Cochran
Nolan Properties Group presented a new development for 2700 Hennepin at the January 9, Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association (LHENA) Zoning & Planning Committee Meeting. The one story retail restaurant project would be located on the northeast corner of the property with a drive-
thru that connects the curb lip on Hennepin Avenue to the one on 27th Street. Anywhere from one to four operators could be located on the site depending on interest. The proposal is still in the idea stage.
The committees main concerns which were echoed at a later East Isles Residents Association meeting focused around two aspects of the proposal. Two features that had a potential direct impact on the surrounding residential properties.
Because the site backs up against residential buildings in the East Isles Neighborhood, the site’s drive-thru loudspeaker could prove problematic if operated late into the evening.
Also, if the final project does not keep the existing “No Left Turn” sign onto 27th Street into the neighborhood, residents were concerned about a significant bump in traffic.
And although not a primary point of discussion, the site’s status as a former brownfield did receive some commentary.
Brownfields are defined by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) as “abandoned, idled, or under used industrial and commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by actual or suspected environmental contamination. By investigating and cleaning up brownfield sites, many of which are abandoned properties in inner-city areas, redevelopment can take place without fear of potential environmental liabilities.”
Mike Connely with the Petroleum Remediation Program at the MPCA confirmed the site has been checked and approved for development.
Although it may be a surprise to know the site is a brownfield, further research on the MPCA’s website reveals an array of sites with varied past uses in Uptown. (See map image)