A St. Paul community health clinic plans on tearing down a vacant building in Stevens Square and constructing a new clinic and community center in its place.
Family Tree Clinic, which offers sexual health services and specialized care for the LGBTQ community, will construct the two-story, 16,545-square-foot building at 1925 Nicollet Ave., across the street from Plymouth Congregational Church.
The clinic and community center will replace a 67-year-old building that was most recently home to Loring Nicollet Alternative High School.
Office and retail space will occupy the ground floor, and the medical clinic will be on the second floor.
The project will double Family Tree’s physical footprint and allow it to increase the number of people it serves threefold, executive director Alissa Light said.
“It’s exciting to be doing a big project like this,” she said.
Family Tree Clinic, founded in 1971, offers everything from birth control and rapid HIV testing to trans hormone care and sex education, and reaches about 22,000 people each year. Many patients receive free services through a state-run family-planning program, while others pay a percentage of the cost based on their income. The clinic also accepts state and private health insurance.
Light said Family Tree decided to seek a new building because its existing clinic, located near the intersection of Snelling Avenue and Interstate 94, wasn’t large enough to accommodate patient demand.
She said the Nicollet Avenue site, which is located near the geographic center of Minneapolis and on multiple high-frequency bus lines, is an ideal fit, noting that many Family Tree staff and patients live in the area.
The new medical clinic will have exam rooms and meeting rooms wired for telemedicine, Light said, adding that Family Tree wants to lease the retail space to practitioners of Reiki, acupuncture or other complementary health approaches.
Other building features will include abundant natural light, six exterior murals to be created by
BIPOC and LGBTQ artists and a courtyard with a medicinal herb garden.
A surface parking lot north of the new building will have up to nine stalls, and Family Tree will also use a 30-stall parking lot it owns next to the site, according to city documents.
The total cost of the project is $7.7 million, according to the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, which has awarded it a $350,000 grant.
Family Tree is in the middle of a $7.2 million capital campaign. The organization has already raised $5.3 million, Light said, a figure that includes proceeds from the sale of its St. Paul building. (Family Tree sold the building for nearly $3.5 million in March 2019.)
The half-acre site is slated for buildings between two and six stories tall under the Minneapolis 2040 plan.
The organization hopes to start pre-demolition work this month and to open in the new building in October 2021.
To learn more about Family Tree Clinic or the new building, visit familytreeclinic.org.