The Colisum, a community commercial center since 1917, was almost destroyed following the civil unrest after the murder of George Floyd. In order to restore this historic 80,000 square-foot building, Redesign, a non-profit community development corporation, has closed on the acquisition of the space, located at 2708 East Lake Street. Preserving and redeveloping the Coliseum building has been identified as a high priority by neighborhood residents, community leaders, and partners.
This completed acquisition will allow Redesign to restore the building, which would have otherwise been demolished by its previous owners. The non-profit organization has partnered with a number of Black-owned businesses to own and operate the building once restored. Among these Black entrepreneurs are Alicia Belton of Urban Design Perspectives, Janice Downing of CommonSense Consulting@Work, and Chris Montana of Du Nord Crafts & Spirits. Once the building is remodeled, it will be a space for local and BIPOC entrepreneurs to establish and grow their small businesses. It will also provide an opportunity for the community to feel inspired and hopeful after the destruction last year. The redevelopment plan also includes temporary window art pieces by local artisans, which will redress the building and provide hope and encouragement that a new BIPOC led era of the Coliseum building is coming.
REACH is part of the Lake Street Leadership Recovery Coalition (LSLRC), a group of community leaders who came together to collaborate on recovery and renewal efforts after the civil uprising following the murder of George Floyd. Work has begun, but it may be years or even decades before we see visible outcomes of new development, rebuilt infrastructure and strengthened social supports. Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA) serves as the administrator for R.E.A.C.H.
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