Baraka Auto opens at Lake & Harriet housing development site

Owner Hassan Samatar at Baraka Auto, located at 510 W. Lake St.

While a developer works to secure funding for a six-story apartment building over the coming year, Baraka Auto Center is operating at 510 W. Lake St.

This is Baraka Auto’s second location, and the first has operated in Northeast Minneapolis for nearly 20 years. Owner Hassan Samatar said Lake Street offers the perfect location to serve the East African community. He said the full-service shop performs everything from body work to engine rebuilds, and a large frame machine can handle bigger vehicles.

Samatar said many of his customers buy discounted vehicles at auction and bring them to Baraka Auto to rebuild.

“I always like to keep Plan B in my pocket,” said developer Steve Minn, whose company Lupe Holdings Corporation owns the site.

Lake & Harriet rendering

Lake & Harriet 4Minn said he hopes to secure funding to build affordable housing through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, Hennepin County’s Affordable Housing Incentive Fund and Transit-Oriented Development program, and the Metropolitan Council’s Livable Communities Demonstration Account and Transit-Oriented Development grants.

Pending city approval, the project would include 128 units with underground parking and additional enclosed and open-air parking spaces at ground level.

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Minn said he could not reach purchase agreements with property owners to the north and west. The alley that empties onto Lake Street would remain navigable, he said, by building over the alley with 18-foot clearance. He said precedent for the flyover is evident at the Lime Apartments in LynLake and the Arts Quarter Lofts near 26th & Nicollet.

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Members of the Planning Commission Committee of the Whole will informally discuss the project on Thursday, Aug. 17.