The chaos at the edge of the frame

Minneapolis is turning into another two-tiered city — mind-blowing luxury at one end, third-world-style poverty at the other.

A recent drive through Minneapolis revealed a city moving in two directions at once. Downtown, we have new construction, bringing in major-city levels of luxury. Elsewhere, the scenes resemble the shantytowns found in South America.

First, the good news. The new Four Seasons hotel opened earlier this month, on the north end of Nicollet Mall:

The hotel is part of a new 36-story office tower hosting the local headquarters for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). The $433 million project also includes 34 condominium homes, all expected to be priced above $1 million each.

Thirty blocks to the south, Nicollet Avenue is abruptly interrupted by the block-wide site of a former K-Mart store. The store is gone, but the building remains. The city purchased the site for redevelopment and to reconnect the two stretches of Nicollet Avenue South, which extend to the north and south of the location.

In the meantime, the former K-Mart building is given over to the site of a makeshift George Floyd memorial and an open-air flea market.

The building also houses a temporary post office, filling in for two others destroyed during the George Floyd riots two years ago.

AlphaNews recently chronicled the chaos of the entire neighborhood, including homeless encampments and piles of garbage. Our own drive past a west Minneapolis homeless encampment is documented here.

Meanwhile, back downtown, a striking new Prince mural overlooks his old First Avenue haunt and the street recently renamed in his honor.

The multi-story mural can be found on Parking Ramp A, near Target Field.

A few blocks away, in a building next to Sex World on 2nd Avenue North, near Washington Avenue, a homeless person occupied a doorway. A rental bike and scooter sit nearby.

On the other side of downtown, a magnificent new condo tower is now open. Eleven on the River, designed by the famed architecture firm Robert A.M. Stern, sits between the Mississippi and U.S. Bank Stadium.

At 41 stories, the condo tower is one of the tallest buildings in the city. The building opened back in April, with units selling from a minimum $1 million apiece up to almost $6 million for an upper-floor apartment, according to the Business Journal.

Back on Lake Street and Nicollet Avenue, we discovered some burnout tire tracks in a parking lot in sight of the Lake Street/I-35W bus station.

The chaos at the edge of the frame.