FNA Office/Community Business Space

3701 Fremont Ave N – Potential FNA Office and Community Business Space

The Folwell Neighborhood Association has the opportunity to rent a commercial space, located on the 1st floor at 3701 Fremont Ave N. Occupancy would begin March 1, 2020, the rent of $1800/mo would cover the entire first floor, newly remodeled in an open concept, multi-use floor plan as well as an attached heated garage. The goal of this project is for the FNA to have minimal organizational space by sub-leasing the majority of the first floor for a community based business.

This post is to provide the information the Board of Directors and staff currently have in order to establish trust and transparency with the community in making this decision. Below are the answers we have collected from a variety of questions asked of the building owner and city reps.

We encourage all residents to participate in the survey below to help the Board of Directors make a fully informed decision. Be sure to include your questions, concerns, ideas or suggestions.


As of Thursday evening Dec. 12, there were three responses to the survey. The questions and answers have been included in the link below with names being removed for privacy.


Two major themes that are showing up is how much the community wants a cafe/eatery/food business and that FNA doesn’t need office space, especially when any FNA funds can go toward better purposes. To make sure intentions are clear, the FNA agrees that they do not need this much office space, and $1860 per month is too much for the organization to commit to without assistance. Without the FNA in this process however, the building will be fully converted to residential loosing an ideal multi use commercial space in the community. The FNA can act as a conduit to provide a space for a community business to thrive while they share the risk. The goal is for FNA to partner with a business to increase small businesses in Folwell. The letter of intent provides FNA the time to build a sub-lease partner.

The FNA is excited at the chance to explore this unique opportunity and how the organization can make this space be valuable as a community center, business incubator, and/or a co-working space with shared occupancy. A small team of board members and staff are researching opportunities and gathering information to present at the upcoming Neighborhood Night on Monday Dec. 16th at 6pm. (Dinner is served at 5:30pm so come early to enjoy a meal.)

Here are some of the answers to questions we have already been hearing:

The FNA is looking at a 1-3 year lease, not 5 year.

The Building is zoned as C1.

Owner will pick up Water, sewer, and gas as part of rent. FNA will be responsible for electric.

How old is the electrical? It is 240 on the commercial side, three pronged outlets will be everywhere and should accommodate basic fridge and stove if brought in.

The furnace was old so it will be replaced with a mini split – it will do heat radiation and air conditioning.

Would the owner consider doing a community buy with us? It is too late for that option at this point, but the owner might will give FNA a first right of refusal when selling.

The FNA will need an architect to work with on the project.

When exterior damages incur (broken windows, etc) the current proposal on the table is to share damage expenses between FNA and the owner. The owner will be installing a security system on the outside of the building.

We hope you are able to join us on Monday, but if not, we hope you will send your thoughts to info@folwell.org so that all the comments and concerns can be considered.


January 2019 Neighborhood Night Recap

Every month the Folwell Neighborhood Night hosts Neighborhood Night where residents come together to share a meal, get to know each other, and organize around the topics they care about. To learn more about this program, click here.

Below you will find the notes taken from the evening.

FNA Neighborhood Night Recap
Location: Folwell Park
Date: January 21, 2019
# of people: 10
Board Members present: Buzzy Bohn, Stacey Henderson
Committee’s present: Crime and Safety, Youth, Green Team, Garden Team
Special Guests/Contact info:

  • Brian Kelley, Young Builders and Designers: 612-839-5219, kelley01@visi.com
  • Nancy Przymus, Bottineau Neighborhood Association: 612-801-7834



  • Young Builders and Designers came to share about their month long youth program for middle school students. Joining a building and design team includes 8 kids, 2 adults, 3 workshops and 1 competition. It is $400 per team. Each team meets once a week for a month focusing on a specific project that they design out of legos. The goal is to learn basic skills and language in architecture, designing and building.
  • Bottineau Neighborhood Association to discuss Lowry Bridge Cancer & Asthma Public Health Prevalence Study . Presented the findings of the Air test results and asking for Folwell to join in the effort to demand the city/state extend the Air testing beyond 2021. The study reveals that chronic Health Ris Values, HRV’s for Formaldehyde exceed the limits for human health almost 100% of the time for the past 4 years around the lowry Formaldehyde exposures this high can cause leukemia and brain cancer. Short term health effects include skin, eye, nose and throat irritation. To learn more contact BNA at bna@bottienauneighborhood.org or 612-367-7262. Door Knocking training will be on Feb. 2 at 2pm at 1808 University Ave NE.


Community Build Question/Activity:

  • What inspires you about MLK?
  • Reflecting on MLK day, we put up a poster for each team/committee and asked the question: “What is your dream for…” Residents spent the rest of evening adding words or comments. Those are captured below.
    • Housing
      • That landlords and tenants have better connections
      • That landlords should make sure that they run radon tests on all of their rental property.
    • Gardens
      • More gardens in our communities
      • More volunteers
      • More art
      • More music
      • More gatherings together
      • Feeding more people
    • Crime and Safety
      • That there will no longer be shots fired in North Minneapolis.
      • That the police could confiscate more weapons
      • That Police and Community could be more respectable and caring towards one another.
    • Green Team
      • That people would clean up behind themselves, be it their property or the streets.
      • That more residence would adopt trash containers on their block
      • Have them painted with art or a Clean slogan that inspires us


Committee Reports:

  • Crime and Safety
    • Chair: Buzzy Bohn buzzy@folwell.org
    • Topics/Discussion:
      • Focus on getting a 4th Precinct Inspector
      • How do we change the narrative and tell the positives of the neighborhood
      • Safe Streets clinic can be moved under this committee
    • Action Steps:
      • Signs like “Drive like your kids live here” around neighborhood
      • Safe Streets Action Clinic for the whole community


  • Clean Team / Green Team
    • Chair: Kathleen Acaso clean@folwell.org
    • Topics/Discussion:
      • Spring Clean sweep week after Earth Day celebrated at Folwell Park
      • Change name to Green Team
      • Are residents interested in hiring a truck 1-2 a year to pick up uncollectibles? The general consensus was not very inspired by the idea.
      • Looking into the FNA sponsoring trash receptacle along Penn, and/or getting businesses to sponsor a trash receptacle on their corner. No decision was met, more research is needed.
    • Action Steps:
      • Dani to contact Christine about changing email and website to green team
      • Kathleen to send Dani clean schedule to be added to Folwell Calendar


  • Youth Team
    • Chair: Stacey Henderson stacey@folwell.org
    • Topics/Discussion:
      • Creating a Health and Wellness program: Mentorship, Physical Fitness, Nutrition, Self-Esteem, Peaceful Mind Development. This program will be for 8-18 yr olds.
    • Action Steps:
      • Stacey to reach out to Pastor Chapman at Redeemer and hear about their programs.
      • Connect with Youth Link at Folwell Park to hear about their programing and how the FNA program works alongside it or with it
      • Create a Kick Off event


  • Garden Team
    • Chair: Dani Tietjen danielle@folwell.org
    • Topics/Discussions: This didn’t happen this month. There will a garden event for painting signs in March. We will take time in Feb to discuss it and announce a date.


Issues brought by Community:

  • Mary – Is there a way to create a network of folks who would sit with residents when they are witnesses in court? It would be a huge help and comfort to have someone in the court just for you, the witness.


One word Evaluation Activity:

  • This activity didn’t happen. We closed out the evening in spirited conversation.

December 2018 Neighborhood Night Recap

Every month the Folwell Neighborhood Night hosts Neighborhood Night where residents come together to share a meal, get to know each other, and organize around the topics they care about. To learn more about this pilot program, click here.

Below you will find the notes taken from the evening.

Neighborhood Night Update
Monday Dec. 17, 2018
Folwell Park 5:30pm
Special Guest: Juxtaposition bringing plans for the North Regional Library Renovations
Committee’s Present: Crime and Safety, Communications, Housing
Board Members Presents: Buzzy, Christine, Nate, Guin
Staff Presents: Dani, Chuck, Mysnikol, Heidi
Community Present: 10
Agreements: No hitting, Yes… and, Don’t take it personal, Active Listening, Consider others feelings, Be Respectful

Topics Discussed

Communication Plan

  • Streamlining the FNA communication plan.
  • Took input from residents about what they need from FNA
  • Transition and strategize better tools for the Secretary Role

Action Steps

  • Wrote a list of email goals – twice a month the Friday after the board mtg and NN
  • Research Texting reminders – goal to start using for mid-year
  • Nate and Christine talked through the Secretary role and its responsibilities


Crime and Safety: Input on MPD 4th Precinct Inspector

  • List of things people want to see in the next Inspector
  • Buzzy has a list of requests from residents to share with MPD leadership

Action Steps

  • Invite new inspector to the next Neighborhood Night meeting


North Penn Village Residents: They came to Neighborhood Night to ask for help in finding legal assistance for their Home Owner Association.

Action Steps

  • Dani is reviewing their binder and reaching out to a few organizations that could help.


Traffic Issues on 33rd and Fremont: Gathering community support to address the collisions and speeding on Fremont.

Action Steps:

  • Community Meeting on Saturday Jan. 12 at Fremont Clinic at 3pm.


Housing: Rent Stabilization Plan

Action Steps:

  • Guin is going to engage renters in Folwell to help write the proposal and have support in the effort


Input on Neighborhood Night: Residents gave input on how they want to see NN work going forward

  • If Thrivent is helping fund NN through their Micro Grant Program, invite them in to talk about what other programs and services they offer
  • Sometimes it can be difficult to ensure that everyone gets a chance to talk.
    • Possibly offer some facilitation training to committee chairs? – Mysnikol
  • Work on our communication and feedback loops.
    • Having visuals with dotmocracy is helpful and an easy way for folks to engage
  • NN is a healthier space to have fuller conversations around issues and topics
  • NN is great at building community
  • The informal space allows for good conversations


Important Dates to Remember:

  • January 7 – 630-8pm FNA Board Meeting at Folwell park
  • January 12 – 3-430pm Fremont Traffic Issues at Fremont Clinic
  • January 14 – 6-8pm Library Restoration Meeting at North Regional Library
  • January 21 – 530-8pm Neighborhood Night at Folwell Park


Juxtaposition Presentation:

  • The proposed changes to the North Regional Library are on display at the Library now. Juxtaposition is also attending all the community meetings they can to get input from the Neighborhood about what they want to see in the redevelopment. Currently the redesign will begin fall of 2019 and the Library will be closed for a year during construction.
  • If you would like to know more, come and join the meeting on Jan. 14 from 6-8pm at the Library.

October 2018 Neighborhood Night Recap

Every month the Folwell Neighborhood Night hosts Neighborhood Night where residents come together to share a meal, get to know each other, and organize around the topics they care about. To learn more about this pilot program, click here.

Below you will find the notes taken from the evening.

Neighborhood Night

Monday Oct. 18, 2018 5:30-8:30pm

Folwell Park

30 people present

Spent the first 30 min eating and visiting and hanging out. Went over the agreements, for the evening and nothing was added.

Agreements: This is a living document that sets the tone for the evening to allow safe space for people to bring their truth and ideas.

  • No Hitting
  • Respectful
  • Courteous
  • Open Minded
  • Yes, and…
  • Help your Neighbor
  • Be positive
  • Fail Forward
  • Truthful
  • Thoughtful
  • Put Cell phones on silent
  • Communicate from love rather than fear

The large group then heard from Juxta and Sen. Champion’s office about their programs and progress. After, we opened

Special Guests:

Crime and Safety:

  • Chair – Buzzy, buzzy@folwell.org
  • Discussed Issues on Penn
  • When to call 911
  • Action Items:
    • Etta will contact Face to Face to have conversations with the young people
    • Someone from 911 to come to Dec. mtg
    • Security workshop Nov. 3 at 4pm


  • Chair – Kathleen, clean@folwell.org
  • Fall Leaf Rake Nov. 3-4, 2018
  • Clean Sweep – blocks that still need help: Sign up with Kathleen
  • Dumping – Tires and mattresses
  • Moving the name from CLEAN Team to Green Team
  • Action Items:
    • Clean Sweep done, finalize this week
    • Thank you!
    • Discover new ways to make cleaning fun – host an event in the spring
    • Move from “Senior Leaf Rake” to “Fall Clean up” to expand our ability to help more people who need the assistance.
    • Agreed to change the name from CLEAN to Green team in Jan.  


Housing Committee Report

October 2018 Neighborhood Night

Tonight we considered the following:

  1. How to enforce judgments against TJ Waconia, LLC, Jonathan Helgason & Thomas Balko?
  2. How to utilize $70,000 FNA housing funds?

For number 1, copies on judgments have been scanned and are on file. Committee members are conducting independent research to be discussed next month at neighborhood night.

For number 2, committee members conducted an initial brainstorming session. First, a list of possible projects/program was constructed. Next, comments and question for each idea were offered. Moving forward the committee will add to and review these ideas at next month’s neighborhood night and have a discussion about which ideas to move forward with pursuing. See ideas and list of consideration for each below.


Small Short Term Loans for Emergency/Urgency

  1. What would the application process look like?
  2. Does it call for interest on repayment?
  3. What would be the cap?
  4. How would the repayments be collected?


Foreclosure Assistance

  1. Would there be a triage team for the factors that lead to the foreclosure situation?
  2. Would this include rental properties?


Beautification Funding

  1. Create sweat equity accounts.
  2. Earn Folwell bucks towards beautification supplies.


Energy Efficiency Rebates

  1. How would this interact with Excel or Centerpoint rebates and programs?
  2. Solar gardens


Snow/Sidewalk Cleaner (Nate Street’s proposal; attached)

  1. How would it sustain going forward?
  2. How do you prioritize geographically? Which areas at what times?
  3. Is it snow plowing or removal? Where will the snow go?
  4. Who is operating the machinery?
  5. Which sidewalks get done first? How do cleanings get scheduled?

Eviction Court Representation

  1. Are we only using Legal Aid?
  2. Will the representation understand racial disparities in legal system?
  3. Do we contact all homeowners in distress?

Rent Stabilization

  1. Would/could it include section 8 participants?
  2. How do we monitor subversive landlord tactics? (Negotiating side payments directly with tenants, breaking contracts in other ways, etc.)
  3. Do we set goals for the program? Why? Increase per year?
  4. How many landlords are involved?
  5. What is the timeline once in agreement?
  6. Is this a once in a lifetime assistance?

Down Payment Assistance

  1. What are the terms? Will it be forgiven?
  2. If not forgiven, how will it be paid back? What are the terms? When?
  3. What is the funding source?
  4. How much per buyer?

Renters Advocacy Board

  1. How would this be different from Homeline?
  2. Could this include an agreement or partnership with landlords?
  3. How/does this tie in with Conduct on Premise board?

Legal Clinics/Retainer Assistance

  1. How to identify people who need help?
  2. Legal clinics scheduled @Folwell
  3. Partly to welcome community.
  4. How do we capitalize on programs and assistance that already exists in the community?
  5. Would this be better addressed with more advertising or connection? Do we need to organize it ourselves?

“Fix Up” Weekends

  1. Volunteers only?
  2. How many hours to commit to?
  3. Is this for seniors/disabled only?
  4. Is this for outside of the property only?
  5. How do people sign up to participate?
  6. How can we connect with local contractors, handy people, etc. to create mutually beneficial opportunities?

After we came together and gave our Action Items we took a moment to give an evaluation of the night:

Evaluation: One word from participants

  • Optimistic
  • Informational
  • Engaged
  • Happy
  • Community
  • Enthusiastic
  • Building
  • Progress
  • Empowered
  • Oooohhhh
  • Synergy
  • Connected
  • Renewed Purpose
  • Hyped

Action Items are given to each committee or team to follow up on.


Folwell Harvest Festival 2018

Folwell partnered with the Cleveland Neighborhood Association to throw a Harvest Party for the neighborhood. The Penn ave Garden was the site chosen this year in large part due to the commitment from both neighborhoods to focus more energy on the struggles on Penn.

Community response, relationship building, and a deeper investment in the area is the path the neighborhood is taking to address high crime and violence on the block. The garden has been a refuge for many this summer, providing food and opportunities to connect.

More than 75 folks showed up to celebrate the season and break bread together. Community gathered a bonfire and listened to elders share stories. Children made scare crows and painted bird houses for the gardens. 50 pumpkins were given away for free and folks took family photos at the photo booth. Students played soccer and tag in the field, having room to run and play. We roasted marshmallows, listened to music, ate amazing food, and learned about one another.

Neighbors shared ideas and strategies they want to see in the neighborhood to address their struggles. Plans were made for future events and building projects. Residents were listened to and bridges were built.

The FNA and CNA are grateful for the funding available through the Penn Ave Safety Grant to provide opportunities for community members to build authentic connection and create grassroots strategies for addressing violence in the community.

Thank you to all the volunteers and staff that made this beautiful fall festival happen!