Thursday, August 5

Minneapolis Mosque Moving (Not A New One)

As I tried to read about plays at the Twin Cities' Fringe Festival, to see if there was anything worth going into town for, I noticed that a building owner in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis is asking its tenants (a theater and a bike repair shop) to leave and will be renting the space to a mosque.

"A mosque? Right by the train stop? That seems like a great idea!" I thought. (I feel like it's almost all Somalis who use that train stop.)

I investigated more, because I did want to read about why there would be such short notice--I mean, new churches don't generally pop up quickly in the place of open businesses. Not to mention, the article I read just left it as, "losing their space for a mosque." And that seemed too theater-versus-mosque. I wanted to know more about why the building owners were choosing whom.

Well...turns out it's not a new mosque for the community.

Just an old mosque, that it sounds like might have already had train-stop-front property.

And there might be a story of people w/o much money losing their homes to go with it--though I know nothing yet of what kind of "redevelopment" is going to happen to Riverside Plaza and the surrounding apartment buildings that so many Somalis live in. Maybe they're remodeling the Riverside apartments' main areas and doing the vacant ones or something, not razing-and-rebuilding. Another story to look into for another day. But still...not exactly awesome news, either.

By the way, the building owners in question are Sherman Associates & Fine Associates. Sherman owns the Riverside Plaza (where I think lots of the apartments are) and is not only "redeveloping" them, but putting in a new parking lot for them (which is why the mosque's old building is coming down). I think this might be partly because Fine Associates is closing parking/driveways that people who live in Riverside Plaza had been using? And then, a reason Fine Associates is going to rent their extra building to the mosque is that it saves Sherman Associates money. And Sherman Associates is willing to hold back on suing Fine Associates if they get to save money. Or something like that. (I think Fine Associates wouldn't get to close the parking/driveways if Sherman Associates tried to stop them.) I'm not sure. Something like that, anyway.

I'm sure the owners of Fine Associates & Sherman Associates are doing just fine. :-P

I hope the current residents of the apartments around Riverside Plaza get to do "just fine" or better.

I hope the new space works as well as the old one for Darul Quba mosque.

And I hope the theater & bike shop do well wherever they move to.

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