Aug 25, 2023 - Business

Backers rush to raise millions for Roof Depot makeover

Rendering courtesy of East Phillips Neighborhood Institute

The organization trying to redevelop Minneapolis' Roof Depot building says it's on track to come up with the $3.7 million needed to secure the massive former Sears warehouse.

Driving the news: The city's Business, Inspections, Housing & Zoning Committee this week granted the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) an extension from Sept. 7 to Nov. 8 to come up with the funds.

Why it matters: The project could eventually turn a polluted site in a low-income neighborhood into an aquaponics facility, community hub, and eventually, affordable housing.

Between the lines: The EPNI and activists scored a major win in a battle with the city, which wanted to demolish the building, when the state Legislature brokered a deal in May to send millions toward salvaging the Roof Depot.

  • But, the project is contingent upon a relatively small organization coming up with a lot of money in a short amount of time.

By the numbers: EPNI said it has raised $1 million from donations and is now working to secure money from private investors.

What they're saying: EPNI president Dean Dovolis told Axios that interested investors wanted to see the details of a purchase agreement approved this week by the city committee.

  • "The investors, they need to know what they're buying into."
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