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Where’d WCCO Go?

Plus a north Mpls. pizza place derailed, affordable housing in St. Paul, and a mayor who doesn't know his own strength in today's Flyover.

12:23 PM CST on November 18, 2021

ABC/The Bachelorette|

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Bachelorette Redesigns Minneapolis Skyline

As all true Minnesotans know, this season The Bachelorette is One of Us, and this week, as you read here (you did read here, right?), the reality show traveled to downtown Minneapolis for multiple sports-related activities and some tourism-enticing exterior shots. We saw U.S. Bank Stadium. We saw the Foshay. We saw the Capella Tower. But what we didn’t see was the sign atop the WCCO building, because the ABC reality show shadily erased the CBS affiliate’s logo. On its site today, 'CCO “had some fun with this,” as we say in the news biz. 

'Strong' Mayor Frey: How Do You Be a Strong Mayor? 

If you’re gonna establish a Department of Public Safety, we kept hearing during the election, you need a plan beforehand. But if you want to completely overhaul city government and hand control of nearly every department over from City Council to the Mayor… well, apparently you can figure that out on the fly later. According to MPR News, Jacob Frey, the newly power-swole mayor of Minneapolis, is establishing a commission to implement the voter-approved ballot measure that shifts council responsibilities to his office. I’m sure he’ll boil the process down to an inane buzzphrase for us by the end of the week.

Minneapolis to Lose Old Caboose, Pizza Parlor 

Since 1975, you could count on two things at 2025 W. River Rd. N. in Minneapolis: Broadway Bar & Pizza and the vintage caboose advertising its name. Built in 1911, the ol’ train car is headed to Chisago City’s Ironhorse Central Railroad Museum, where it’ll be restored and enjoyed well into the future. "It's definitely iconic," Broadway owner Jim Kruizenga tells KSTP. "My goal for that caboose was to preserve it and to have it live on." That’s because the pizza parlor it has orbited for decades has no future: Broadway’s West River Road location will soon be razed to make way for a seven-story apartment complex. The retro pie shop will enter Pizza Heaven by the end of the year, KSTP reports. Broadway Pizza will continue to run its 12 other metro locations.

Well, Somebody Is Building in St. Paul

Last week, the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority approved financing for a brand-new, 62-unit affordable housing project. Located at 520 Payne Ave., The Hollows will offer one- and two-room spaces, as well as larger studios. Construction is being helmed by first-time developer Johnny Opara, a Nigerian immigrant. Opara told the Star Tribune that his father, who struggled to find quality housing as a low-income tenant, was his inspiration for taking on the project. "I wanted to make sure that folks have access to housing that was equitable and affordable, and gave them the chance to live somewhere where they could be proud of, he explained to the Strib. In order to get up to speed, Opara was fast-tracked to get his real estate license, and has been mentored by other local developers and building initiatives—all while working a full-time job. Opara is on track to close on the Payne Avenue space in December.

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