Placeography:Featured place/2011-02

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Sears Building, 900 E Lake Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Throughout its 80-year history, the Sears building has been a focal point in the community because of its physical size, and the economic and social impact it had on the area. 40 homes were razed to build it in 1928 at a cost of $5 million. It took less than a year to build it without any public subsidies. Sears employed nearly 2000 workers in the store or nine regional catalog centers. In 1994, Sears, Roebuck and Company left the neighborhood. Ex-workers and residents in the area were shocked and saddened. The neighborhoods began an economic decline and the building remained boarded and vacant for a decade. In 2004, a coalition of business, community, government, and nonprofit groups joined the effort to revitalize the building. Ryan Companies spent over $192 to redevelop the 1.2 million square foot building. In June 2006, the Sears building reopened, housing the Midtown Global Market--providing food, produce and merchandise, Allina Hospitals and Clinics, and a mixture of market and affordable housing, a hotel, and government services to serve the local community and bring people back to Lake Street.

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