Lakeville development proposed for parcel allegedly bought with Feeding Our Future proceeds

A residential development has been proposed for a 36-acre plot of undeveloped land linked to the Feeding Our Future scandal.

A development company located in Eden Prairie is eying a plot of land near I-35 in Lakeville for a unique project. According to their promotional materials, Nolosha Development LLC has a vision of the following:

Our walkable community will make it easy to get around without a car. Just steps away, you’ll find everything you need, including a mosque, an Islamic school, a tutoring center, a halal shop, and a variety of restaurants, cafes, and retail shops.

Nolosha’s website indicates that the initial 160 deposits for the project have already been spoken for, and the development is creating a waitlist.

According to Google Translate, the Somali word “nolosha” means “life.”

The project is still in the early stages of development. According to records kept by the MN Secretary of State’s office, the LLC was founded in August 2022. Lakeville is their first project. A related nonprofit was founded a year earlier and is also headquartered in Eden Prairie. Nolosha has not yet filed a formal application or plans with the city.

However, it appears that Nolosha’s preferred project site may create a snag as they move forward.

The 3-minute promotional video currently appearing on Nolosha Development’s home page includes a map of the proposed site at the 2:45 mark. The site is in Lakeville, adjacent to the I-35 northbound lanes and convenient to local shopping. Here is a screen shot of the map in the video.

This undeveloped triangular 36-acre property exactly matches a parcel of land listed on Dakota County’s GIS site, as shown on the county map,

The property id for the parcel above matches the property id mentioned in this federal indictment in the Feeding Our Future scandal. In March 2023, the U.S. Attorney for Minnesota indicted a Bloomington businesswoman in the case. The defendant, Ayan Abukar, is No. 58 (of 70). She is accused of taking some $5.8 million out of the free-food programs (p. 8, paragraph 29) through her nonprofit, Action for East African People (AFEAP).

She is accused of putting $1.5 million in ill-gotten proceeds towards the purchase of the property shown above. That parcel is now subject to forfeiture in the Abukar case (p. 15, paragraph 4 a.).

According to Dakota County property records, the Lakeville parcel changed hands in 2021 and was reclassified from Commercial to Apartments. The 36.13-acre property is currently assessed at a value of $2,989,500 and is owned by Abdirahman Siraj of Minneapolis.

According to this document filed last month by state Attorney General Keith Ellison in a state court case against AFEAP, Abdirahman Siraj is Abukar’s son (p. 5, paragraph 29). Siraj is NOT a defendant in the Feeding case.

So, in the near term, should Nolosha wish to move forward with its preferred Lakeville location, they will need to deal with the Federal Court to gain control over and ownership of the land.

It’s not clear from public records what relationship (if any) exists between the developers behind Nolosha and the Abukar family, other than as potential buyers of a plot of land.

For their part, Nolosha appears undeterred by these new developments. The company’s Facebook page includes entries as recent as January 2024, which appear to show that same Lakeville parcel.