MINNEAPOLIS — Since George Floyd's murder near the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis, the site has become a memorial visited by people from around the world.
Now the City of Minneapolis is considering what to do with it going forward. Saturday it held the first open house to get input from the community.
"We're really just introducing the framework of the project and the process," said project manager Alexander Kado.
The project, called 38th & Chicago Re-Envisioned, spans several blocks of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, the intersection of which has been home to artwork, signs and flowers honoring people killed by police since May 2020, when former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin killed Floyd at the site.
Kado says nothing has been decided yet. Preliminary concepts aren't expected until sometime in the fall of 2022. The city hopes to have a final design by the spring of 2023.
"The train has not left the station," Kado said. "We just want to engage with [the community] to start this work."
Kado says the city wants to make the intersection functional for traffic, while honoring what George Floyd Square has become, considered by many to be sacred and a place for healing.
"I want people to believe that we care as the City of Minneapolis. And as a Black man, that I care about this community and that we have to get this right," Kado said.
According to the city, the reconstruction project will involve the road, new sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, pavement, curb and gutter, lighting, and utility improvements.
There is no word yet how a memorial site might be incorporated.
"It can't just be a road or a street, because it's so much more than that. It's a place of global significance," Kado said.
The Agape Movement also was involved with the open house. The group has been working with the city, including when it reopened the intersection to traffic in June of 2021. Co-founder Steve Floyd said they have been listening to what people who live and work nearby want to see.
"They want to get back to community," he said.
The next open house will be held virtually from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26 via Microsoft Teams.