BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — Feeling seen, heard and valued. Those are the sentiments surrounding the newly revamped Metro Blue Line Extension project.
It's an extension which will run from Target Field station through communities in north Minneapolis all the way to Brooklyn Park.
"I know these projects are complicated, these projects are not easy, they're transformative, but it has to come with transparency and deep input," said Charles Zelle, Chair of the Metropolitan Council.
There's been a lot of back-and-forth over the last 18 months between community members and leaders with the met council, who've held several sessions with neighbors, listening to their comments and revising the route.
A major stretch of the project travels through the business corridor of West Broadway in north Minneapolis, an area housing many Black owned businesses, like Teto Wilson's barbershop.
"Everyone involved in the planning and the implementing of this light rail has the opportunity and responsibility to get this right and make sure that we the residents, community members and business owners are whole," said Wilson, Owner of Wilson's Image.
Something leaders of the project are prioritizing with help from the University of Minnesota's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs.
"What we've been contracted to do is to study the affects of anti-displacement that might be possible or probable as a result of doing this Blue Line extension work," said C Terrance Anderson.
It's a chance some north metro entrepreneurs are willing to take, connecting to a future of opportunities.
"West Broadway has the largest percentage of Black commercial property owners across our region," explained Kenya McKnight Ahad, CEO of the Black Women's Wealth Alliance. She went on to say, "this is our opportunity to grow north Minneapolis, to build on the existing assets, and I understand that we're going to have to give a little bit to get something for that."
In February the anti-displacement workgroup will meet with people in the community and business owners to discuss ways to limit the interruptions that construction may cause in the area.
Construction is set to begin in 2025.
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