Best Site Screaming For Redevelopment

Franklin Avenue Light Rail Land

The Seward and Ventura Village neighborhoods just south of central Minneapolis have some of the highest rates of transit ridership in the metro area. But the maze of intersections and underpasses near the Franklin Avenue light rail station promotes primal forms of movement that urban planners try to avoid: survival-of-the-fittest sprints through a dimly lit concrete wasteland; dodge-ball dashes across high-traffic intersections; and shoe-skating adventures along the gargantuan sheets of ice that form beneath the freeways.

Some potentially good news: Seward Redesign, the City of Minneapolis, and Hennepin County have secured the funding needed to take the critical first steps toward achieving a walkable, bikeable, livable Franklin Avenue light rail station neighborhood. Money invested in infrastructure improvements is expected to facilitate conversion of the four-acre Bystrom site into a mixed-use residential and commercial gateway, with amenities including rain gardens, rooftop agriculture, and car-free living in apartments powered by organic waste. Also planned: shaded, well-lit bike and pedestrian paths that shorten the distance from nearby neighborhoods to transit stops.