Roof Depot site

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
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FISHMANPET
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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby FISHMANPET » November 30th, 2017, 11:31 pm

Ho boy that sure was a meeting.

Pro tip, if you're going to organize a community meeting that's going to culminate on a community "vote" and you advertise it as such, you should maybe get together and decide what it is you're actually going to vote on before hand.

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby aeisenberg » December 1st, 2017, 12:55 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:
November 30th, 2017, 11:31 pm
Ho boy that sure was a meeting.

Pro tip, if you're going to organize a community meeting that's going to culminate on a community "vote" and you advertise it as such, you should maybe get together and decide what it is you're actually going to vote on before hand.
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FISHMANPET
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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby FISHMANPET » December 1st, 2017, 4:01 pm

The proposal is pretty much as laid out in that Strib article. There's sort of two parts to their proposal. The first is reusing the southern most part of the current Roof Depot warehouse for "low tech" aquaponics as well as a Greenway facing portion that would be some kind of market for food produced in the facility and local artisans and some bike repair. The second part would be new construction on the west side of the site which is currently mostly just parking lots, this would be "high tech" aquaponics as well as the affordable housing (that each include garden space).

The meeting spent too much time talking about specifically what high-tech aquaponics was (but they were running low on time and so had to cut the "low tech" presentation so I can't even tell you what's different between the two, other than low tech is cheaper to get going). Someone from public works was there to talk about what the city needed the site for, and she did a very bad job at that. I can't really blame her, she was noticeably nervous and shaken the whole time, that was not a friendly room, and at some point a lady started yelling at her. But what's important to know is that the city doesn't have a specific "plan" for this site. I think once upon a time they had a few concepts that involved leaving an acre or two free for some re-development, but the phase they're at now is evaluating what other space needs other city departments have and if they could be accommodated at this site and what that might look like. But there's no "plan." The community has a plan that they presented, and at the end we voted on which "plan" we liked better which is weird because there is no city plan to vote on. But nonetheless two people voted for the city plan.

Voting was instigated during the Q&A session, which was itself almost dropped in favor of immediately voting, but someone grabbed a mic and started letting people ask questions. Finally a lady that was part of the group putting this all together made a "motion" (this was not a meeting ruled by Robert's Rules) to vote and someone yelled out that they seconded it, and she said do you want to vote for the city's plan or the community plan. Which again, there's no city plan, and it's clear that she hadn't planned what she would say when she called a vote. If I'm going to have a community meeting that ends in a vote, I'm going to know exactly what I'm going to say when I declare the options to be voted on.

The room ended up nearly unanimously voting for the community option, with 2 voting for the city "plan" and one lady declaring loudly that she was abstaining because an acre wasn't enough (I have no idea what she was talking about).

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby SurlyLHT » December 1st, 2017, 4:19 pm

I've always wanted a playground here near the Greenway, aquaponics sounds good as well. I'm not sure how realizable any of it is however.

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby minneboom » December 2nd, 2017, 9:26 am

The small area plan suggests moving the 3rd Precinct police station on Lake Street to the roof depot site. I hope the city is considering this, as it would open up 3rd Precinct police station site for redevelopment, which includes several surface parking lots and a great corner site at the corner of Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue.

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby Chef » December 2nd, 2017, 2:49 pm

Aquaponics is something that is far more suited to low value rural land. It is essentially fish farming and then using the waste water for hydroponics.

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby FISHMANPET » December 4th, 2017, 11:15 am

The first phase part in the existing building sounds... doable. They've got a grant from the state for job development, and the building is in great shape, as well it sounds like the equipment to get started is not too expensive. I think they'd need more money to build out their store on the Greenway, but they may in fact already have the money to at least start producing food.

The second part is honestly a bit out there, they say they've got people interested in funding it but I guess I'll believe it when I see it? I just saw on Twitter this morning a story about an urban farming company going under so I'm not sure all this stuff is as much of a slam dunk as they think it is. If nothing else, the Green Institute/Greenway Building should serve as a reminder that "The Community" is not always the best at coming up with economically feasible plans.

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby SurlyLHT » December 4th, 2017, 12:57 pm

If they have extra space I think a business incubator would be a good idea. Much of the surrounding population are from cultures that are more entrepreneurial than our dominant culture.

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby talindsay » December 18th, 2017, 11:49 am

minneboom wrote:
December 2nd, 2017, 9:26 am
The small area plan suggests moving the 3rd Precinct police station on Lake Street to the roof depot site. I hope the city is considering this, as it would open up 3rd Precinct police station site for redevelopment, which includes several surface parking lots and a great corner site at the corner of Lake Street and Minnehaha Avenue.
As long as that massive Target / Cub parking lot sits massive, unused, and undeveloped on the premier corner of that intersection, I'm not sure it's a good idea to intentionally clear the police station, since it would be more expensive to redevelop.

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby DFPegg » September 24th, 2018, 10:28 am

From CM CANO's newsletter:

The Future of Former Roof Depot Site

Monday, September 24, 2018

5:30 p.m. Dinner provided by the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI)
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Presentation and Discussion

Phillips neighbors have presented a vision for using a portion of the former Roof Depot site which includes affordable housing, a year-round urban farm, and a bike shop.

Dear Neighbors,
Remember to join us this Monday, September 24 starting at 5:30 p.m. at the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center to catch up on the latest phase of the City's plans to create a wateryard maintenance facility at the site formerly owned by Roof Depot. Over the past four years, the community and the City have been working together to reach a mutually beneficial development plan. The City will present four different development scenarios to the community to gather input and feedback.
Please RSVP and get all the meeting details on Facebook.

minneboom
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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby minneboom » September 25th, 2018, 10:25 pm

They should also move the 3rd precinct police station to the roof depot location, as the small area plan suggests. This would open up a fantastic TOD site.

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby seanrichardryan » September 26th, 2018, 2:54 pm

An urban farm on a polluted parcel of land. Brilliant.
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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » September 27th, 2018, 8:22 am

I don't know if this is high or low tech aquaponics, but they may be thinking of something like this:

http://urbanorganics.com/

City Pages article:

http://www.citypages.com/restaurants/5- ... /425992603

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby DFPegg » September 27th, 2018, 9:43 am

seanrichardryan wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 2:54 pm
An urban farm on a polluted parcel of land. Brilliant.
I think that is kind of the point, right? Wouldn't the idea be to turn a place of contamination into a place fostering life?

I am not an agricultural expert or anything but if it is aquaponics they would not be planting in the contaminated soil, rather in a raised manner. I imagine, however, they would also have plans for long-term remediation.

Why the snark?

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » September 27th, 2018, 9:57 am

DFPegg wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 9:43 am
seanrichardryan wrote:
September 26th, 2018, 2:54 pm
An urban farm on a polluted parcel of land. Brilliant.
I think that is kind of the point, right? Wouldn't the idea be to turn a place of contamination into a place fostering life?

I am not an agricultural expert or anything but if it is aquaponics they would not be planting in the contaminated soil, rather in a raised manner. I imagine, however, they would also have plans for long-term remediation.

Why the snark?
I'm also trying to figure out the snark. If the aquaponics setup is like the Urban Organics operation which I linked above, the vegetables are grown hydroponically and never touch the soil beneath the tanks. Both the greens and the fish taste best if eaten the day they are harvested, so locating the production facility in the midst of a bunch of potential consumers seems to make sense.

Urban Organics prominently displays the Pentair logo on their website, so it may not be possible to make something like this work without a wealthy patron.

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Tiller
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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby Tiller » September 27th, 2018, 1:56 pm

His snark is probably for the same reason I'm snarky about urban farming. It's often a feel-good solution that takes the place of other, better solutions.

A grocery store (or even a corner store) does a lot more to fix a food desert, while actual farmland outside of the city is far more efficient/effective at growing food. The only place urban farming still excels is in providing a kind of programmed green space.

A better solution to the first two problems (food deserts and food production) would be to build density and a grocery store on site to preserve farmland on the exurban fringe that would otherwise be turned into suburbia.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » September 27th, 2018, 9:46 pm

Tiller wrote:
September 27th, 2018, 1:56 pm
His snark is probably for the same reason I'm snarky about urban farming. It's often a feel-good solution that takes the place of other, better solutions.

A grocery store (or even a corner store) does a lot more to fix a food desert, while actual farmland outside of the city is far more efficient/effective at growing food. The only place urban farming still excels is in providing a kind of programmed green space.

A better solution to the first two problems (food deserts and food production) would be to build density and a grocery store on site to preserve farmland on the exurban fringe that would otherwise be turned into suburbia.
First, we should make sure we're talking about the same thing. When you picture urban agriculture does something like Gibbs Farm come to mind? Or is it more like Green Collar Foods in Detroit:

https://www.greencollarfoods.com

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Tiller
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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby Tiller » September 28th, 2018, 4:23 am

For me, I think of the Phalen Village Community Garden close to home, by Maryland Ave and Hazelwood. It certainly provides valuable green space, but it can't literally feed the neighborhood. Cano could really use a better track record of promoting helpful policy instead of feel-good solutions.

There doesn't seem to be much conclusive information on the viability of Hydroponics/Aeroponics. There is a lot of marketing though. Gotta love some of the hostility to GMOs.

I'd say the tiny market share held by Hydroponics/Aeroponics implies that it's simply not viable for most of our food supply right now.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » September 28th, 2018, 10:33 am

Do you have a link to some of your favorite GMO hostility?

Aqua/hydro is definitely still experimental. I'd call it a food factory rather than an urban farm. It has a plausible path to profitability, but then so does nuclear fusion for electrical power production.

Does anybody know what a wateryard is? And why we might need a facility to maintain it?

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Re: Roof Depot site

Postby DFPegg » September 29th, 2018, 8:01 am

RE: Tiller

Thanks for your comments. I personally don't have an opinion about what to do with the Roof Depot site (though the water yard seems like a wasted opportunity). I still don't get SR's snark. In general, I like the info he posts, it just seemed like this comment was disingenuous/trollish criticism, since the aquaponics proposal is not about growing plants in contaminated soil, and I imagine he knows that.


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