Background on East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm
If the City is allowed to go forward with the Hiawatha Campus Expansion Project, the huge former warehouse building, located at the intersection of East 28th Street and Hiawatha Avenue, would be demolished. It would be replaced with a centralized storage and maintenance facility for the City’s Public Works Department with all its equipment and vehicles.
The City’s plan would add greatly to the environmental injustices faced historically and currently by the East Phillips neighborhood. This neighborhood is one of the most diverse areas in Minneapolis and is home to Little Earth of United Tribes community — one of the only Native American-preference housing complexes in the country. The Roof Depot is located on an arsenic Superfund site, and its demolition would expose neighborhood residents to more highly toxic arsenic-contaminated materials.
The Hiawatha Campus Expansion Project — in which the City of Minneapolis hopes to expand its storage for water and sewer maintenance facilities — would also bring two 12,000-gallon oil tanks and 102 pieces of diesel equipment into this neighborhood. An asphalt heating facility and a 400 car employee parking ramp has also been part of their revealed plan. The City’s project would dramatically increase toxic air pollution from more traffic congestion in the area and exacerbate existing pollution-related health issues in the community, including asthma and cardiovascular disease — magnifying COVID’s disproportionate impact.
The East Phillips Neighborhood Institute (EPNI) has sued the City of Minneapolis in an attempt to stop the project, and is using other avenues to ensure the City’s project is halted.
For more information about the East Phillips Indoor Urban Farm, EPNI, and the efforts to stop the city, visit eastphillipsneighborhoodinstitute.org, or contact Karen Clark at 612-237-7156 or Dean Dovolis at 612-817-0313.