U project seeks businesses for area northeast of campus

Seth Woehrle

The expanse of switching yards and grain elevators north of the University and east of Dinkytown, known as the Southeast Minneapolis Industrial Area, could soon be home to new businesses.
After an examination by the Areawide Urban Alternative Review, officials have a better idea of how businesses, like those encouraged by the University’s Technological Incubator, will affect the SEMI and surrounding areas.
The AUAR examined the environmental impact of development on the land, since piecemeal environmental-impact studies for the multiple owners of the land would take longer.
University President Mark Yudof mentioned the area in a speech on economic development in September in reference to the University’s Technology Incubator, a proposed plan to stimulate private technology development.
“The University is very interested, as is the city, … in identifying businesses that could become tenants or developers in the SEMI area,” said Jan Morlock, director of University relations.
The University and the Southeast Economic Development committee, an organization with representatives from nearby neighborhoods, is trying to develop the infrastructure that will attract new businesses to the area.
“The SED committee and the city of Minneapolis are basically trying to plan and finance the necessary infrastructure: roads, bridges, water (and) sewer,” said Dean Lund, a Prospect Park representative to the committee.
Joan Menken, another SED committee member, said the Como neighborhood she represents had concerns about traffic and pollution.
“We were interested in the types of businesses that create real jobs with living wages, the impact of transportation and trucks and that type of noise and air pollution,” said Menken.
Burlington Northern, Union Pacific, ADM and other companies currently own the land.