Fruit Belt community wants to be a partner
As a member of the Fruit Belt leadership, I have heard much chatter regarding the flow of articles about local developers and proposed plans for not only Our Lady of Lourdes Church, but also the adjoining lots in St. Paul Mall.
The Fruit Belt leadership is clear that those properties sit on our borders. And although it seems true that the proposed project was submitted to City Hall before the moratorium was placed, that same moratorium is in effect, and we stand with Council President Darius Pridgen in acknowledgment that it was in fact placed to protect our community from gentrification.
Although a lot of development has happened on the opposite side of Main Street, which also sits on our border, the Fruit Belt community was intentionally excluded from those plans. It still receives no financial benefit from any of that development other than big glass towers that surround and overshadow our community. The neighborhood has yet to receive any financial benefit by way of a community benefits agreement. Will we continue to be pushed back and ignored despite our call for a land trust?
Developers who are coming to pillage our land and line their pockets with our misery should know that the practice of working with residents and community leaders may be new to them, but across the city, residents and community leaders have been waiting. Be sure that we will continue to fight for our community! Gentrification is not on our agenda, today or any day, but partnership is.