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Experts: Your Summer’s Gonna Suck So Bad

Plus a new Minneapolis hotel, mentors for LGBTQ youth, and a pair of St. Paul restaurant closings in today's Flyover.

4:04 PM CDT on March 21, 2023

Wolfgang Hasselman via Unsplash|

Correction: We’ve been informed that the animal pictured here is a crane fly, NOT a mosquito. We regret the error.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

A Group Called the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District Has a Dire Warning

Enjoy the comforts of winter while you can, Minnesota. Experts say the sun itself will be blotted out by biblical numbers of mosquitoes this summer, and the living will envy the dead. OK, they didn’t say that exactly. For now, cold weather is keeping the pests in check, but after two atypical summers, during which drought conditions drove down the mosquito numbers, a regularly wet Minnesota summer could bode ill. "When it does finally warm up, the mosquitoes are going to be out, and they're going to be out with a vengeance," Alex Carlson, public affairs manager of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District, told Fox 9, perhaps relishing his role as bearer of bad news a little too much. The district is currently accepting predictions for when they will discover the first mosquito larvae for 2023—it was March 18 in each of the past two years. Anyway, why do we live here again? 

Swervo Development Continues T.C. Takeover

Mysterious mega-developer Ned Abdul—whose Swervo Development is relaunching the Uptown Theater, building a 19,000-seat Shakopee amphitheater, and rehabbed The Armory—just added another project to his list. Last week the company closed on the Century Plaza building in downtown Minneapolis for $7.5 million, Mark Reilly at the Biz Journal reports. The plan? Transform the 91-year-old structure, which has sat vacant since 2017 except for its parking garage, into a 213,000-square-foot, 149-room hotel with a sprawling rooftop space. Reilly says the city has long wished for a hotel near the Convention Center, and once proposed creating a 1,000-room behemoth at the nearby Century Plaza site. As part of the new development, MPD's First Precinct will be relocated to a 36,000-square-feet portion of the property. Located at 330 S. 12th St., Century Plaza was originally built to house the all-girls Miller Vocational High School. It's quite lovely, architecturally speaking, and fell into dingy disrepair as a parking ramp.

Get to Know QUEERSPACE

Being a queer or trans teen is tough in a ton of ways—one being that you likely have very few queer or trans adults to look up to or learn from. That's where QUEERSPACE, a free program that matches Twin Cities-area LGBTQ youth with LGBTQ adults, comes in. MPR's Grace Birnstengel has the story about this local org, which has paired up 34 youths (ages 12-17) and mentors (over age 25) to date. Not bad for a collective that'll turn two next month, and that started as an MBA project for Nicki Hangsleben, its founder and executive director. “They can talk about queer identity and queer experiences and journeys, but for the most part, the mentees are just looking to hang out with a queer and trans adult who is living their life,” Soua Thao, who manages the Twin Cities mentoring program, tells MPR.

Closing Time for Two St. Paul Restaurants

When Bap & Chicken opened in 2019, folks were pumped to try Korean-style fried chicken served with a healthy dose of kimchi-laced bibimbap. (We were early fans.) Then the pandemic hit. “In the long scheme of things, things never got back to normal,” chef John Gleason tells Eater. Bap & Chicken announced via Instagram that its last day of operations in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood will be March 25, though Gleeson says he is open to reviving the concept when the time is right. Meanwhile, over in downtown St. Paul, Eagle Street Grille is closing soon too. The bar and restaurant, located at the corner of Kellogg and West Seventh, just across the street from the Xcel Energy Center, opened in March 2003. But it's not sunsetting because of the pandemic or financial woes; Eagle Street's ownership says the building’s owner, Sandra Iverson, opted not to renew the lease. “It’s her building and she can do what she wants with it,” owner Jim Crockarell tells the Pioneer Press. “We’ve always made our payments on time—even through COVID—and have been a good tenant.” It's set to close in April.

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