There are few events in history that can create a rift in the space-time continuum of a community, a veritable paradigm shift that causes ripple effects worldwide. The death of George Floyd in May of 2020, and subsequent protests and riots, in Minneapolis is just such an event. Floyd’s death occurred less than a mile from the Target East Lake Street store, which was nearly destroyed, and the Third Precinct Police Station, which was burned to the ground, is directly across the street from that store. The loss of Target East Lake made it hard for the people in this south Minneapolis neighborhood to buy groceries since there were no other grocery stores within walking distance.
How We Rebuild Is More Important
What makes this restoration unique is Target’s commitment to include community input. “Today, with construction well underway, I recognize that how we rebuild is just as important — if not more so — as when we rebuild. We want the Lake Street community to view this store as a part of itself, not just a place to shop,” Cephas Williams Jr., a group Vice-President at Target, said. “So, we’re listening to the voices of the community and applying what we’re learning and will continue to do so.” Cephas William’s full statement is titled, To Our Lake Street Minneapolis Community: We’re Listening, Learning, and Re-Opening. Target’s community outreach was in-depth and extensive.
Partnering With People Who Live Nearby
Target partnered with Nawal Noor, CEO of Noor Companies, a local Black-woman-owned General Contractor and Developer to lead the rebuilding efforts to complete Target’s fastest restoration ever. Bomanite Licensee Concrete Arts was contracted to be a part of the demolition of the damaged carpet, VCT and corresponding adhesives. The scope of that first stage was completed the last week in June of 2020. Concrete Arts removed approximately 110,000 square feet of flooring in a week running double shifts. Concrete Arts then left the site to allow for extensive repairs and changes to the concrete. They came back in on August 1st and had five weeks to polish the 90,000 square feet of flooring. Working 12 hour days, six days a week Concrete Arts finished in 4.5 weeks despite being at the epicenter of the social justice fight which subjected them to three separate shut downs due to further protests.
A Reimagined Store Is Restored.
Concrete Arts installed Bomanite Custom Polishing Systems decorative concrete flooring using Bomanite Patene Teres to complete the redesigned, reimagined, and community inspired reconstructed store. The new store has a secondary entrance and a well-lit walkway from the rail station to help increase access and to address community voiced safety issues. The new pharmacy is located closer to the front of the store between both entrances so that elderly shoppers now walk a shorter distance to reach it. Acknowledging the diverse neighborhood, Target even added a greater variety of spices. The community asked for more food and more produce, and those sections were almost doubled. The significant changes to the store culture and the store environment were made to match the community concerns.
Award Winning Decorative Concrete
Concrete Arts earned the 2020 Best Bomanite Custom Polishing Systems Project Honorable Mention Award for this extraordinary project. As per Mike Dougherty of Concrete Arts, “As you can see from the photos, the damage was quite extensive, but we were able to make some pretty good lemonade out of the lemons we were dealt. Our company feels a great deal of satisfaction in helping this suffering neighborhood try to get back to some sort of normalcy.”
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