New health center to be built on Lake Street at site destroyed in 2020 riots

New health center to be built on Lake Street at site destroyed in 2020 riots

New health center to be built on Lake Street at site destroyed in 2020 riots

A stretch of Lake Street in Minneapolis that was destroyed during the civil unrest in 2020 will now be transformed into a state-of-the-art health clinic.

The Family Dollar store along the 1000 block of East Lake Street burned down in the riots following the murder of George Floyd. The lot has been empty for more than three years.

“There’s a lot of opportunity for revisioning and rebuilding coming out of that,” said Maureen Michalski, vice president of real estate development at Ryan Companies, which owns the lot.

Michalski said the Minnesota-based developer wanted to be intentional about finding something new to build in that location.

Earlier this year, they learned a nonprofit health clinic a mile down the road was desperately looking for a new home.

Southside Community Health Services has been operating its large clinic from inside a Minneapolis Public Schools elementary school.

The federally qualified health center has been in the community for more than 50 years at various locations, offering everything from primary care to obstetrics to dental services.

“We’ve kind of made do with a space that’s really not conducive for the quality of care we want to provide,” said Executive Director Ann Cazaban. “I don’t know of another health center like Southside that’s renting from a school and using a space that previously was a day care.”

Southside Community Health Services currently helps 11,000 patients a year with affordable care, noting that about 40% of them are uninsured.

Cazaban said it is the only clinic of its kind in south Minneapolis.

“We’re filling a huge void. There’s just not enough primary care in general and certainly affordable access to high-quality primary care like we provide at Southside, there’s a lot of unmet need,” Cazaban said.

In the former Family Dollar lot on Lake Street, the nonprofit plans to build a new $30 million health center called One Southside, adding exam rooms, doubling space for vision and dental services and bringing new health care resources to the area, such as mammography and behavioral health services.

“It’s a big increase in access for the community,” Cazaban said. “We will have all of these services under one roof, so a real one-stop-shop for people.”

Michalski added, “We know that there’s a need there, so it’s something that can build on that existing fabric.”

Both the developer and health clinic believe it will be a fitting addition to an area that suffered both during and after the unrest.

“We’re creating a space where it does feel like a healing space,” Cazaban said.

The new clinic will serve an extra 7,000 patients a year.

Southside Community Health Services has received federal funding, state grants and money from private donors to make this new facility possible.

Officials have raised about $15 million so far and will ask the state legislature for funding as well in the coming session. The community can help in the fundraising efforts as well by donating here.

The plan is to break ground by this summer and have the new clinic up and running by the summer of 2025.