Streetscape enhancements on tap for 54th & Lyndale area

As the blocks around 54th & Lyndale prepare for a shakeup, area businesses have voted to organize and create a Special Service District.

The assessment on business owners will pay for new benches, trash cans, frequent trash pickup, bike loops and ash urns to reduce cigarette litter.

Matt Perry, president of the Nicollet-East Harriet Business Association, said the group is starting with modest improvements. The shops have already been hit with assessments for recent road reconstruction, he said, and they’re recovering from the harsh winter as well.

“The fact that business owners are taking on an additional expense speaks to the quality of the business people we have,” Perry said.

He said the area’s four neighborhood associations as well as the Hennepin County Roadside Enhancement Partnership Program will help defray the initial cost.

The boundaries of the new district cover shops along Lyndale from Minnehaha Parkway to 56th Street, bordered by Garfield and Aldrich.

Major changes lie ahead for those blocks: Borton Volvo is leaving this month, with a new Walgreens proposed for its site. Plans for the existing Walgreens across the street are not yet known. A new restaurant called Saguaro is moving into the former Caribou space at 53rd & Lyndale. And the former Beek’s Pizza building is proposed to become ground-level commercial space topped by two levels of rental lofts.