Robert Lilligren to swing first sledgehammer at Kmart demolition

Before voting to approve the city’s acquisition of the Nicollet Kmart site on Friday, Council President Bender affirmed her promise to former Council Member Robert Lilligren that “he would be the person cutting the ribbon.” This was meant as recognition for his past work on the project. Lilligren was first elected in 2001, and represented the area until 2013, when it was in Ward 6.

Do we do demolition ribbon cuttings?

Bender also talked about her excitement for the future of Nicollet Ave, post-Kmart. Her two goals: a “more connected neighborhood” (better transit access, safe for pedestrians and bikers) and putting people and businesses who live/work there today, “front and center” in order to prevent displacement.

What comes next? Public engagement for re-opening a newly designed street — and potentially public housing.

Bender: “We’ve already had conversations with the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority about incorporating public housing here, potentially with a land trust on both the housing and commercial side.”