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Temporary Minneapolis Police 3rd Precinct Plan Dropped After Negotiations With Property Owners Reach Impasse

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The City of Minneapolis says a plan to temporarily relocate the police department's 3rd Precinct to a warehouse has been dropped.

According to city officials, Imagine Express and the city have been in ongoing negotiations over a lease agreement at 2633 Minnehaha Ave., but the two parties reached an impasse in the negotiations.

As a result, city officials said the two parties agreed to cease lease negotiations over the property moving forward. Rent and renovations would have cost around $1.2 million.

Imagine Express released a statement:

"Imagine Express has ended negotiations with the City of Minneapolis on their possible sublease of our Minnehaha Avenue property. We intend to move in a different direction with respect to the property."

At a Minneapolis City Council meeting Wednesday, the city coordinator reported that there are no other properties identified as a temporary site, but there is a list of possible properties. It's also possible that the city will spread the temporary precinct over multiple properties and leases.

The city will also possibly explore locations outside of the 3rd Precinct.

Rioters set fire to the department's 3rd Precinct building on the night of May 28, three days after George Floyd died while in police custody. As of August, the precinct's officers have been working out of the Minneapolis Convention Center downtown.

Andrew Johnson is one of the Minneapolis City Council members who got news on a Zoom call Wednesday.

"I certainly hope we can find a temporary location they can work sooner than later for our city employees," Johnson said. "I don't see that as something that's optional.

Robin Wonsley lives in the 3rd Precinct.

"I think we're celebrating this as a victory, and making it very clear to our elected leaders that you need to move forward with the process that you promised in June," Wonsley said. "We do not want to see any movement on re-opening this precinct."

She is part of the Seward Police Abolition Group, and says now is the time to restructure -- before leasing another building.

"Why go with MPD as it is without any reconciliation or restorative process? Let's move away from that and use this as an opportunity to build that new model public and community safety," Wonsley said.

Councilmember Johnson says the plan is to continue that restorative work, but they need an immediate building to answer immediate calls.

"I really hope we can find something that can work," he said.

On Wednesday night, a planned protest of the temporary precinct continued, but with a new message. The block party was organized by people who live in the Seward and Longfellow neighborhoods, which are in the 3rd precinct. It was held next to the proposed facility.

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