We outline the history of the New Nicollet redevelopment site.
Historic image of Nicollet Avenue and Lake Street



A rich history

We acknowledge the history of this land as we plan for the future.

The image to the left is from 1949. It shows the westward view from the southeast corner of Lake and Nicollet.

Photo courtesy Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS)

Photographer Norton & Peel

Go to MNHS Collections to see photo details

Redevelopment area map

We are redeveloping the area between:

  • Midtown Greenway on the north and Lake Street on the south
  • Blaisdell Avenue on the west and First Avenue on the east

See interactive map of the area



The City invites the public to share ideas for the New Nicollet Redevelopment

The City launches a three-phased public engagement process.

It seeks input from residents, business owners and other stakeholder on many topics, including:

  • Shopping needs
  • Housing preferences 
  • Travel patterns

Read about the public engagement process


The City starts to acquire the property

2020: The City pays to terminate the lease with Kmart.

2017: The City purchases 10 West Lake Street — the property leased to Kmart.

2015: The City purchases 30 West Lake Street — the property adjacent to Kmart. 


The City begins to examine re-opening Nicollet Avenue

The City realizes that closing Nicollet Avenue was a mistake.

It forms the Nicollet-Lake Task Force to examine re-opening Nicollet Avenue at Lake Street.



Kmart opens

The real estate owner who purchased the property enters into a 75-year lease with Kmart.

The lease requires closing one block of Nicollet Avenue to make room for a large surface parking lot in front of the new Kmart building.

Kmart opens for business with a large surface area parking lot in front of the store and facing Lake Street.

Nicollet Avenue traffic is forced to detour to Blaisdell or First avenues.

The City sells the property

The City demolishes two blocks of development between Lake Street and Midtown Greenway.
It sells two separate parcels, one for a grocery store and the second for Kmart.



The City plans to revitalize the area

By 1972, the once-vibrant Lake Street Corridor falls victim to:

  • White flight
  • The dismantling of the Minneapolis streetcar system
  • The demolition of Black property and neighborhoods during the construction of I-35W in South Minneapolis

The City decides to revitalize the area. It begins by purchasing the ten acres between

  • Lake Street on the south to 29th Street (now the Midtown Greenway) on the north
  • Blaisdell Avenue on the west to First Avenue on the east
1920 - 1950

The Lake Street corridor is a bustling commercial district

Two heavily used streetcar lines meet at the Lake and Nicollet intersection

The area serves South Minneapolis neighborhoods with:

  • Businesses
  • Retail shops
  • Entertainment destinations
Indigenous era

Mni Sota Makoce: The Land of the Dakota

People indigenous to North America have lived in the area we know as Minnesota and near the Mississippi River for over 12,000 years.

Contact us

New Nicollet Redevelopment Team

Rebecca Parrell