SUN Sailor Editions St. Louis Park

Sailor St. Louis Park Thursday, April 20, 2017 News Update Early-season miscues were too much to over come as the St. Louis Park Orioles baseball team began with a 0-3 start, including an April 6 opener loss to DeLaSalle. To page 12 Vol. 47, No. 17 City buys land to accommodate PLACE project BY SETH ROWE SUN SAILOR NEWSPAPERS Struggles mar baseball opener $ 1 St. Louis Park leaders ap- proved the purchase of land from Hennepin County to support the proposed PLACE mixed-use de- velopment near Wooddale Av- enue and a planned light rail line. The St. Louis Park Economic Development Authority, made up of council members, voted 6-1 April 3 to buy four parcels of land for $1.1 million to ac- commodate the PLACE project. The council planned to discuss approvals for the project itself April 17, after this edition went to press. The purchases would support the PLACE project on parcels located at 3520 Yosemite Ave., 3565 Wooddale Ave. and a west- ern portion of 3548 Xenwood Ave. “The plan is that three of the four parcels would subsequently be sold to PLACE as part of the property assemblage for its proposed mixed-use redevelop- ment adjacent to the Wooddale Station,” said Greg Hunt, eco- nomic development coordinator, of a station proposed as part of the Southwest Light Rail Transit line. The city plans to use the fourth parcel, at 3524 Yosemite Ave., for right-of-way purposes. The Economic Development Authority plans to keep the eastern portion of the parcel at 3548 Xenwood Ave. for future redevelopment purposes. A city staff report states, “Regardless of whether the pro- posed PLACE project proceeds, the EDA has provided direction to acquire the subject parcels so as to assemble sites large enough to spur redevelopment on either side of the future [Southwest Light Rail Transit] Wooddale Station.” Commissioner Sue Sanger, who voted against the purchases, said, “I fi rmly agree that the idea of purchasing and assembling these properties would be very benefi cial for redevelopment in the area. However, I am not going to support the purchase of these properties at this time because I know the intended purpose of this is to turn around and make them part of the PLACE project, which is not a project which I am supporting.” Hunt said that if the PLACE project did not receive fi nal city approvals, the city would seek another redeveloper to build on the land. PLACE seeks city fi nancial help Leaders of PLACE, a Min- neapolis-based nonprofi t de- veloper, have asked St. Louis Park offi cials to approve nearly $5.7 million in tax-increment fi nancing over 15 years to offset PLACE - TO PAGE 2 Friedman refl ects on St. Louis Park’s inclusive nature Author will speak April 30 at sold-out fundraiser for the St. Louis Park Historical Society BY SETH ROWE SUN SAILOR NEWSPAPERS Legislative breakfast Celebrating Thai New Year U.S. Sen. Amy Klobu- char addressed the top- ics of infrastructure, jobs and health care while speaking at the April 14 TwinWest leg- islative breakfast. ABOVE: Monks at Wat Thai of Minnesota engage in a Buddhist ceremony April 9 in St. Louis Park. LEFT: Lalitawadee Sawansuk, 12, is crowned this year’s Ms. Songkran during the Songkran festi- val, commemorating Thai New Year, April 9. To page 8 BSM’s Treasure Hunt is May 4-6 BELOW: Bloomington resident Santi Suwansiri, a temple volunteer, strikes a meditative pose dur- ing the Songkran festival, commemorating Thai New Year, April 9 at Wat Thai of Minnesota, a Buddhist temple moving to the former Lutheran Church of the Reformation building in St. Louis Park. Songkran was April 13-15. (Sun Sailor staff photos by Seth Rowe) Benilde-St. Margaret’s will host the 2017 Trea- sure Hunt Garage Sale 4-8 p.m. Thursday, May 4, and Friday, May 5; and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat- urday, May 6, at the school’s Haben Center, 2501 Hwy. 100 S. in St. Louis Park. Residents share at Ellison forum Constituents from Congressional District 5 shared their concerns with possible repeal of Affordable Care Act. To page 15 After years of writing about national and inter- national events, author and The New York Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman decided to focus on his upbringing in St. Louis Park. In his latest book, “Thank You for Being Late,” Friedman wrote, “I knew that what was pull- ing me back home to Min- nesota and St. Louis Park was not simply an academ- ic interest in the extraor- dinary politics of these places. What was pulling me back was a reaction to four decades of covering the Middle East and then Washington, D.C., and seeing how much these two arenas had come to mirror each other – and how little they resembled the places that had shaped me in my formative years.” In an interview, Fried- man said he left Minnesota at the age of 19 for college and later work. However, he said, “Over the last 40 years or so, I came to ap- preciate what a basically inclusive and nurturing and healthy, in a way, com- munity I grew up in.” With experience living and covering other places in the world, Friedman said he wanted to under- stand whether he had re- membered St. Louis Park better than it had been or whether his recollections had been correct. He said he wanted to understand what made St. Louis Park work. Similarly, he wanted to understand how the community had been han- dling a transition from being a mainly white Thomas Friedman Protestant, Catholic and Jewish community to becoming more diverse racially and religiously, he said. The whole coun- try, and in some ways the whole world, is going through a transition of increased diversity, said Friedman, and he wanted to consider St. Louis Park as a microcosm of that and a model for how to build an inclusive community. 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