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Seeking Corporate Welfare for Luxury Development, ‘Industry Leaders’ Cite George Floyd

Plus the eternal Uptown debate, a Superior shipwreck discovery, and Paralympians of Minnesota in today's Flyover.


A rendering of the proposed development.

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

Moochin’ Developers Deserve Handout Because... George Floyd?

Happy Friday. If you don’t wanna rage-pop a forehead vein, we suggest you stop reading here. Still with us? Alright, have you heard about the $22 million tax subsidy recently requested by the developers behind a $251 million mixed-use luxury building in Edina? The 70th & France project that doesn’t even pretend to offer affordable housing? Unnamed “industry leaders” feel Golden Valley-based Mortenson Development and Edina-based Orion Investments deserve it because of high construction costs, a lack of available workers, and—get this—the area’s damaged reputation following 2020 rioting set off by the police murder of George Floyd.

Legal and financial advisors have told the city that private investment simply can't clear that final $22 million hurdle, the Star Tribune reports. Racket’s take? Fuck right off into the goddamn sun. But Bill Neuendorf, Edina's economic development manager, seems more receptive, having recommended the tax-increment financing (TIF) district back in February. The City Council is set to vote on the matter March 22; they’d like to hear from you before then. "It's a statement you could read in different ways, you know, and some of them aren't so flattering," Edina Mayor Jim Hovland said of the invocation of Floyd. Correct, Jim. This type of corporate welfare is already offensive enough.

Resuscitating Uptown

You'll almost certainly have your quibbles with today's MinnPost story on how Uptown could hypothetically come back to life, which seems fitting given that the over-discussed Minneapolis district has been the source of innumerable quibbles since its heyday. Our main gripe is with these sources: Uptown developer Stuart Ackerberg; Jeff Herman, owner of seven buildings in Uptown and guy who can't shut up about his failed real estate gambit; and Sam Ankin, managing principal of the developer that's working on Seven Points.

If we wanted to read what those guys had to say about Uptown, we would simply read any other story about Uptown from the last five years. Seriously, when they talk about "activating" the neighborhood, as they so often do, why is it always tied in with parking? Why aren't any actual experts in urbanism or street activation quoted? Doesn't it seem weird that an outlet typically so thoughtful and nuanced in its coverage would publish something so obviously one-sided and backwa—ah, says here this story is from MinnPost's partnership with Twin Cities Business.

New, Very Old Lake Superior Shipwreck Just Dropped

As local history buffs know, Great Lakes waters are a dark and dangerous mistress. On May 4, 1891, a 172-foot schooner barge, dubbed the Atlanta, sank into the deep chill of Lake Superior during a spring storm. The men aboard took to a lifeboat and paddled toward shore for hours. As they finally approached a life-saving station, the boat capsized; only two survivors made it to land. Life’s a bitch, right? Now, over 130 years later, Marine Sonic Technology has located the ship under 650 feet of water. 

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society explains that locating sunken ships is time-consuming, tedious work. But when you find something? The payoff is pretty neat, as the cold water tends to preserve things. "You can still see all the wood, you can see the toilet seats, you can see the pumps, you can see the masts broken off on the Atlanta, you can see the wheel sticking out of the sand,” GLSHS’s Corey Adkins told MPR. “It's something else to see these time capsules." You can watch the payoff for years of work unfold in under four minutes in this video.

On to the Paralympics

Sixty-seven U.S. athletes are competing in this year's Paralympics, which kick off in Beijing on Saturday. Axios has the rundown on the five Minnesota-based competitors: Aaron Pike (Park Rapids, Nordic skiing), Batoyun "Oyuna" Uranchimeg (Burnsville, wheelchair curling), Sydney Peterson (Lake Elmo, Nordic skiing), Max Nelson (Stillwater, Nordic skiing), Mike Schultz (St. Cloud, snowboarding). Good luck out there, y'all!

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