Minneapolis City Council to consider future of defunct Roof Depot building as activists push for Urban Farm Project

The fate of a building and property in Minneapolis’ East Phillips neighborhood will become more clear this week.

Currently, the former Roof Depot facility near East 28th Street and Longfellow Avenue sits empty and is owned by the city of Minneapolis.

The city’s plan for the site includes demolishing the building and building a new water distribution facility. But some who call the neighborhood home hope its future looks much different than that.

“The community wishes to preserve the building,” said Dean Dovolis, president of the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute. “We are making good progress.”

The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute is the leading push behind transforming the space into a community-owned and operated facility called the Urban Farm Project.

A rally on Sunday brought dozens of people outside the property’s fence line to keep their momentum moving forward.

Dovolis said if their plan comes to fruition, up to 1,000 jobs will be added, community-based businesses would have space to operate and it would benefit generations to come.

Thursday is a big day for the fate of this project. The Committee of the Whole will hear possible plans for the property — one includes the sale of the property in a way that’s “aligned with community interests and engages community-based organizations.”