Monday, December 18, 2017

Latest Update on NEBL's Legal Action

The prematurely demolished St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club building.

Here’s a summary of the current status of our legal action:

Appeal of MERA Claims to the Court of Appeals
In November we joined our legal team for oral argument before the Court of Appeals. This appeal is based on our claims under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act (MERA), and focuses on the impact of the project on the historic resources of the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District. Our panel included Chief Judge Edward Cleary, Judge Randolph Peterson and Judge Peter Reyes. On questioning from the bench our legal team argued that our MERA claim is not moot just because the St. Anthony Commercial Club is demolished. The second element of our MERA claim is that the 42-story tower is out of scale with the nearby historic resources, including the Pillsbury Library and the Ard Godfrey House.  Counsel referred the judges to arguments at the district court by all parties about the impact of the tower on the district. Attorneys for the City and Alatus argued that there is no live controversy for the court to consider since the building was demolished.  City Attorney Kristin Sarff noted that NEBL is making similar claims in the second appeal (now fully briefed and scheduled for oral argument; read on).

Appeal of City's Grant of CUP and Variance to the Court of Appeals
Our legal team has completed final briefing in the Court of Appeals setting forth the basis for our appeal of the CUP and variance granted to Alatus by the City. Oral argument is scheduled early February before judges Peter M. Reyes, Jr., Lucinda E. Jesson, and Heidi S. Schellhas. Counsel for NEBL focused primarily on two strong arguments: the density of the project is well in excess of the limitations contained in the Marcy Holmes Plan, such that the City cannot make the required finding that the grant of the CUP is consistent with the Comp Plan; and the variance to floor area limitations, which allows a 700 percent increase in floor area, is not based on unique circumstances related to the property and is based on nothing more than the developer's desire to maximize height and density on a small site in the historic district.

Your ongoing support is critical in achieving our goal of preserving the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District for future generations. All donations in any amount are much needed and greatly appreciated.

Editor's Update March 31, 2018: 

In early February our legal team presented oral arguments to a three-judge panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, in essence an argument that the City of Minneapolis should be legally required to follow the very clearly defined rules outlined in its Comprehensive Plan. We expect the court’s response by sometime in May at the latest. Given the significance of this dispute and its impact on existing legal precedent, the Minnesota Supreme Court could very well accept a petition for review from either party, regardless of which way the appeals court rules. 

In an earlier development, the appeals court dismissed our remaining MERA claim as moot. As the Saint Anthony Falls Commercial Club building had already been demolished, the court essentially ignored the question of whether a 42-story building would be appropriate in the historic district. This was not unexpected, and from a preservation perspective, it’s a disappointment.

Editor's Update June 6, 2018:

Earlier today, attorneys for Neighbors for East Bank Livability filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court requesting review of the appeals court opinion upholding the district court’s ruling in Neighbors for East Bank Livability v. the City of Minneapolis and Alatus LLC. Please click on the link immediately below for information on making a contribution for this case!  

Editor's Final Update August 8, 2018

Yesterday afternoon the Minnesota Supreme Court denied Neighbors for East Bank Livability’s petition for review of the Minnesota Court of Appeals’ denial of our claims against Alatus L.L.C and the City of Minneapolis. This development marks the end of our lawsuit. On the upside, we’ve held off an inappropriate 42-story tower in the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District for 3 years. The Neighborhood has made its opinion against the tower abundantly clear with well over 100 people donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for the lawsuit. We hope that the developer will use common sense and courtesy and build something more in tune with the scale of the Neighborhood, rather than the ridiculously tall proposed tower which would be nearly 200 feet taller than any other building currently in the Neighborhood. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Update on NEBL's Legal Actions Against the Alatus Tower Proposed for 200 Central Avenue

The recently demolished St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club building.

Neighbors for East Bank Livability (NEBL) is disappointed that the developer Alatus has destroyed the historic Saint Anthony Falls Commercial Club building in the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District, all the more so considering that NEBL still has ongoing legal challenges to the project before the court.

NEBL’s claims filed under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act (MERA) may yet result in a determination that the building was in fact eligible for individual listing on the National Register of Historic Places, an opinion shared by two of Minnesota’s most highly respected preservation experts. The MERA claims are further validated as they argue to uphold the City’s own Heritage Preservation Commission’s denial of a certificate of appropriateness to construct a 42-story tower in the Historic District. And last week NEBL filed an appeal of the City’s approval of a conditional use permit and variance to allow for the tower in the Historic District.

NEBL will not give up its claims to require the City and developers to respect the laws set forth in the city’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning, the neighborhood’s Small Area Plan, and the Saint Anthony Falls Historic District Guidelines, in its efforts to protect and preserve the Historic District.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

100% Match Through August 31st and An Update On Our Legal Case

The St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club building which later became the Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel.

Our matching fund challenge is on through August 31st: Donations to NEBL are tax-deductible, and through August will be matched dollar for dollarPlease donate using the link immediately below:

Update on Our Legal Case

Last week the district court issued an order dismissing Neighbors for East Bank Livability’s claims challenging that the city’s grant of a conditional use permit (CUP) and variance for the Alatus project at 200 Central Ave SE were arbitrary and capricious. It’s a disappointing order, but the NEBL board is determined to proceed with an appeal. 

The district court judge’s order was not completely unexpected, and nothing in the order changes our arguments. While we understand that the city has broad discretion in how it chooses to implement its planning and development policies, we believe and will continue to argue that that discretion is not unlimited. It’s important to note that had the ruling gone the other way, there’s no doubt that the defendants would have appealed. So again, it’s not surprising that the case continues.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Great News! - See Our Latest Press Release Below

The St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club building which later became the Washburn McReavy Funeral Chapel.

To see the press release below in larger print click here

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Update and New 100% Match for Donations to May 18th

The St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club building which later became the
Washburn McReavy Funeral Chapel.

Our legal team has successfully argued a stay on all matters and for a hearing, scheduled May 18th, at which time Judge Moreno will hear arguments regarding a Stay pending appeal and Bond issue related to our MERA claim. We have not yet received a final judgment on the MERA claim, and we retain the right to appeal. Judge Moreno has also not ruled on our claim that the city acted Arbitrarily and Capriciously in granting the CUP and Variance. We remain confident in these claims. He may issue a ruling on both claims based on arguments heard May 18th

This work has taken many hours for our legal team. Your support is much needed and greatly appreciated.

All donations between now and May 18th will be matched, 100%, dollar for dollar!

You may have noticed the chain link fencing around the St Anthony Commercial Club site. This may be a publicity stunt, a message to Alatus’ supporters; or it may be simply to prevent vandalism. So long as legal matters are pending, all parties have agreed that there will be no work on the site. And again, we retain the right to appeal the MERA judgment.

We’re also following closely the recent sale of the General Mills site to Doran and CSM. Doran says they’ll propose a 20-story apartment building on this site in the St Anthony Falls Historic District. Both the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood small area plan and the Historic District Guidelines offer guidance that would prohibit this type of development.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Update on the Legal Case Against the Alatus Tower Proposed for 200 Central Avenue

The St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club building which later became the Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel.
The following articles from the Northeaster and the Star Tribune do a good job of summing up the current situation with the case: Click Here for the Northeaster Article and Click Here for the Star Tribune Article. We will probably be appealing the decision on demolition once an actionable order is completed by the judge. Our lawyers are very positive regarding our chances for winning the other part of the case involving the zoning variances, and you can see why when you read our recently filed memorandum for that part of the case: Click Here to see the Memorandum. Please donate via the links below!  

Monday, March 20, 2017

We've Started a New Crowd Funding Campaign!

The Ard Godfrey House - an historic neighhborhood building located across the street from the potential construction site.

Thank you to all of the people that donated to our previous crowd funding campaign which ran 30 days ending on March 15th and took in $5,435. The link to our new crowd funding campaign is immediately below:  

Click Below to:

UPDATE ON THE CASE:  So far there's been no trial and instead the case will be consisting of a series of summary judgements with possible appeals. We'll keep you informed as we figure out exactly what's happening with the case. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

There are Now Just a Couple of Days Left in the 100% Match!

Another one of the many historic buildings in the neighborhood
The one hundred percent match continues just two more days until the end of Monday March 6th. It's a wonderful time to donate!

Click Below to:

Click Here for the current situation regarding any demolition and construction at 200 Central.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

There's Just a Little Less Than One Week Left of the 100% Match for All Donations!

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church - the oldest continuously used church building in
Minneapolis and part of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. 
Our one hundred percent match continues through Monday, March 6th. Now is a great time to donate!

Click Here for the current situation regarding any demolition and construction at 200 Central.

Friday, February 24, 2017

A One Hundred Percent Match Will Be Added For All Donations Made Now Through March 6th!

One of the many historic buildings in the neighborhood.
Yes, one of our dedicated supporters has offered a one hundred percent match that will be added for all donations made today, February 24th, through Monday March 6th! This matching fund applies to both credit card payments made through our crowd funding campaign and to checks sent by mail.

Click Below to:

Click Here for the current situation regarding any demolition and construction at 200 Central.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Now is a Great Time to Donate to Support the Campaign to Stop Demolition and Construction at 200 Central!

(Click on photo to enlarge it.)

Click Here for the current situation regarding any demolition and construction at 200 Central.

Click Here to see NEBL's new brochure!

(There is a 100% match for all donations through March 6th.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

NEBL Files For An Injunction

This rendering shows what the Alatus Tower will look like in it's current location. Clearly the Alatus 
Tower belongs across the river in Downtown, not in the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood. 
(Click on image to enlarge it.)

Neighbors for East Bank Livability (NEBL) has filed for an injunction to prevent demolition of the historic structure on property owned by Alatus LLC in our ongoing effort to stop development of a proposed mixed-use condominium tower at the corner of Central Avenue and 2nd St SE. Click Below to see our press release:

Monday, October 31, 2016

Keep Those Donations and Pledges Coming In - We're on the Verge of Having Enough Money to Go Ahead With our Lawsuit to Stop the Alatus Tower!

Image Credit: ESG Architects Alatus.  (Click on image to enlarge it.) 

At our meeting Wednesday night, and throughout the week, we'll be mapping out our go forward plans. We're very close to having enough money to initiate our lawsuit to stop the Alatus Tower. Your immediate donation will help make it possible to to bring our lawsuit now at this critical time. Our lawyers give us a better than 50% chance of winning the lawsuit.

(There is a 100% match for all donations through March 6th.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Say No to the Alatus Highrise on Central Avenue - Donate to Stop this 42 Story Highrise on the Northeast Side of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis

Neighbors for East Bank Livability (NEBL), along with its coalition groups, is working to stop the construction of the Alatus Project, a 42 story highrise on Central Avenue just northeast of the Mississippi River on 2nd Street SE. Please donate to help us with our legal fees as we work to stop the highrise. Send whatever you can now at this critical time as we continue with the legal process. Let's stop this precedent of a super-tall highrise in the Marcy Holmes Neighborhood on the northeast side of the river!

For further details on
 the Alatus Project see our facebook page:

(There is a 100% match for all donations through March 6th.)


On Thursday September 29th at 9:30 AM in room 317 in City Hall there's a Zoning & Planning Commission meeting to hear our appeal of the Planning Commission's approval of the Alatus Conditional Use Permit and Zoning Variances. Please come to the hearing. 


Editor's Update 9/30/2016: 
While our members and supporters did an excellent job making their presentations at the above hearing, we lost our appeal of the Commission's approval of the Alatus Conditional Use Permit and Zoning Variances. We'll now consider our legal options in the upcoming weeks.