Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities (BBBS) finalized a real estate purchase last week that brings the nearly 100-year-old organization closer to realizing its vision for a youth development hub in North Minneapolis. The 18,266-square-foot property is located along Washington Avenue.
“Our new facility will be an inspiring hub and incubator for youth mentoring,” said Michael Goar, chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities, in a statement. “We’ll empower more youth to reach their potential and also have the space necessary to partner with volunteers, families and other organizations for a positive, long-term impact on the community.”
The nonprofit organization closed April 11 on the property at 3120 Washington Ave. N. at the intersection of Lowry Avenue, just off Interstate-94 and across the Mississippi River. The building is near the proposed Minneapolis Upper Harbor Terminal Development Project and will become BBBS’ new center of operations.
Plans include a community space for use by its volunteers and youth participants, as well as a more collaborative work environment for its employees. The property renovations are targeted to be complete for occupancy in late 2020, which happens to coincide with BBBS’ 100-year anniversary.
BBBS served 3,780 youth in 2018 and has nearly doubled the number of kids it served in 2015.The organization’s new property, once renovated, will be kid friendly and enhance program delivery for children, teens, families and volunteers. BBBS was recently named a My Brother’s Keeper Alliance “Community to Watch,” recognizing its strong track record of working to improve life outcomes for boys and young men of color in the community.
Earlier this year, BBBS launched a $5 million capital campaign to fund the purchase and renovation of its new permanent home. The campaign is chaired by Ray Eby, the former chair of BBBS’ Board of Directors. Eby is vice president of 3M’s electrification program.
The Cushman & Wakefield team of Jaclyn May, Jeremy Striffler and Paul Donovan represented BBBS in its real estate search and acquisition of the property. With the transaction completed, BBBS will focus on property renovations, with Gensler leading on design and Greiner leading on construction.