In 2017, the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and Loeffler Construction & Consulting (LCC) began planning for a new development on the former Amble Hardware site in Minneapolis. Named Mino-Bimaadiziwin, an Ojibwe phrase meaning, “the good life”, the development will provide long-term housing for 110 individuals and households. The development, designed by Cuningham Group Architects, is the first of its kind in Minnesota and includes a culturally specific health care center, community gathering space, and the Red Lake Nation Urban Embassy. The 175,000 SF building hosts 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units and includes culturally specific design elements throughout the property, including protrusions around the building symbolizing the seven clans of the Ojibwe culture, raised bed medicine gardens in the courtyards, and colored siding which represents culturally significant trees.
While finalizing the design for the Mino-Bimaadiziwin project during the Fall of 2018, the need for safe, secure housing was growing in Minneapolis, MN. Hundreds of homeless individuals were living alongside Franklin & Hiawatha Avenue, and the encampment continued to grow as the coldest months of the year approached. In response to the growing Franklin Hiawatha Encampment, the Minneapolis City Council approved $1.5 Million in funding to construct a temporary Navigation Center on the Mino-Bimaadiziwin site owned by the Red Lake Nation. The Navigation Center was comprised of three heated Sprung shelters. This provided temporary shelter to 120 individuals who were staying within the existing encampment. LCC proudly provided Construction Management and Field Supervision services throughout the process. The Navigation Center remained open until May of 2019, when the temporary structures were dismantled in preparation for the construction of the permanent Mino-Bimaadiziwin Housing Development.
This project will serve as a long-standing asset to this community for years to come. Not only providing long-term housing options, but also providing preventative health care, daycare services, community kitchen, and a place for the community to come together and experience “the good life”.