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  • Hannah Kamath

Legislative Updates from 38th Street United

38th Street United has advocated for significant investment in 38th Street and other cultural corridors in the Twin Cities. What was initially a $400 million ask narrowed to $100-$125 million towards the end of the 2023 Legislative Session. Here’s how things turned out — scroll to the end for a detailed list.

Legislative Overview

The Minnesota Legislative Session ended May 22 after the passage of historic investments and policies, spearheaded by the DFL-controlled House and Senate. For a good summary, check out this MinnPost article.

The final economic development finance bill includes the Promise Program, which invests over $100 million in small grants and loans to Twin Cities cultural corridors. While these investments are essential, we believe resources can be greater and more targeted. $27 million in grants and $9 million in loans for South Minneapolis is significant, but these resources will be spread thin across five cultural corridors. A combination of targeted public and private funding is necessary for the 38th Street corridor to be fully resourced and able to thrive.

We are thrilled that $3 million will go to the Cultural Wellness Center’s Dreamland project, a visionary development on 38th Street that will “provide cultural healing through culinary heritage.”

We are disappointed that critical investments were appropriated for neither Pillsbury House & Theatre nor Sabathani Community Center, both of which are ready for facility updates to continue their work of serving the community.


The Deets: What Passed

$79 million for grants to small businesses in the Twin Cities, through the PROMISE Grant Program, including:

  • $32 million over two years for “West Broadway, Camden, or other Northside neighborhoods”

  • $27 million over two years for “Lake Street, 38th & Chicago, Franklin, Nicollet, and Riverside corridors”

  • $20 million over two years for “University Avenue, Midway, Eastside, or other Saint Paul neighborhoods”

$24 million to support loans for Twin Cities businesses, nonprofits, or eligible developers, through the PROMISE Loan Program, including:

  • $9 million over two years for Northside neighborhoods

  • $9 million over two years for Lake Street, 38th & Chicago, Franklin, Nicollet, and Riverside corridors

  • $6 million over two years for Saint Paul neighborhoods

$3 million to the Cultural Wellness Center to support acquisition and development of Dreamland on 38th Street. Exact language in the economic development finance bill here, section 14.

$5 million to Twin Cities LISC to fund the Emerging Developer Fund Program to support individuals who have been historically underfunded and excluded from the field of property development.

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar earmarked $4 million of (federal) Community Project Funding to the City of Minneapolis to support affordable housing at George Floyd Square, here.


The Deets: What Didn't Pass

$10 million to support needed capital improvements for the Sabathani Community Center. Here's the initial proposal, which was tabled for the omnibus bill and ultimately dropped.

$9.3 million in capital investment for Pillsbury United Communities, including $7 million for the capital expansion of Pillsbury House & Theatre and Full Cycle. Here’s the initial proposal, which legislators ultimately dropped.

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