Lisa Bender tested by proposed Franklin and Lyndale redevelopment

Rendering via Star Tribune
This is the vision developers have for one of the Uptown area's busiest intersections.
New Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Bender faces one of her first big challenges with the proposed redevelopment of the Franklin Avenue and Lyndale Avenue intersection.

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The project -- which would replace the surface parking lot, commercial properties, and Theatre Garage space currently on the southwest corner of the intersection with a glassy, six-floor mixed-use structure including 85 rental units, a rebuilt theater space, new commercial properties, and a large parking lot  -- doesn't sit well with some neighbors. Concerns range from the architecture to the building's height to the project's density to increased congestion.

Bender told us she thinks the property "is a great place to redevelop" in part because of its location at the crossing of two major bus lines in an already dense part of town, but acknowledged there's still "a lot of questions" about the project she wants answered before she'll throw her support behind it.

"There are a lot of different opinions, but it's fair to say that most people want to see something new there," Bender said. "That may honestly be the only point of agreement."

What the intersection looks like now.

Bender added that while she's "received a lot of communication in support of this project," she's also heard from many critics, some of whom express contradictory opinions. ("Some want it to be taller, and others want it to be shorter," she said.)

So how does a new council member navigate such difficult terrain?

(For more, click to page two.)

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