MINNEAPOLIS — Many people say they are grateful to see Target, a mainstay in the Lake Street community, up and running again. But other small businesses aren't so lucky.
Rioting led to looting and vandalism at about 80 businesses in the community. But Target was a familiar and convenient place for residents, like Will Ellis.
"They really put a damper on the people in this neighborhood that really depend on the business up and down Lake Street," Ellis said.
While so many small businesses are still charred shells, Target reopened on Wednesday, one of its fastest rebuilds ever.
Target says it has been working with the community to make meaningful change - partnering with a Black-woman-owned contractor, expanding the food and beverage section and building an entry next to the light rail.
Resident Alonzo Anthony said, "I feel hopeful, yes. I'm an optimist and I think things are going to change, but it's going to take time."
In June, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a 300-million dollar funding bill to help the whole area rebuild. At the time, the Senate didn't consider it.
In a statement today, the Lake Street Council said, "We are excited about the reopening of Lake Street Target - it is a really important asset for our community to get essential items like diapers and we are excited to see some new features like signage in Spanish but many of our small businesses are still facing financial hurdles to reopen and recover. The Lake Street Council continues to support these businesses through grants and ongoing business support but additional donations or our We Love Lake Street fund are needed. A full recovery of the Lake Street corridor will likely take many years and what is needed most now is for Twin Cities residents to support businesses that are currently open so that they can survive into the future."
The new store is bustling again. It's a place for people to connect, a place for families and stability and Target hopes a place of pride and joy too.
"It's almost like tradition," Ellis said laughing. "It's weird to say that, but I'm really glad that it's back."
Target says it is also reinvesting in the Lake Street community by offering thousands of hours of pro-bono consulting services to businesses that are owned by people of color to help with rebuilding.