Seward Co-op and Co-op Creamery Café




Commercial Real Estate,

Development Services and Project Management

Project Description

The Seward Community Co-op grocery store has been a fixture on Franklin Avenue since 1972. REDESIGN first assisted the Co-op in expanding the building that is now Welna Hardware, then in 1998 in building a new store at 2111 East Franklin. By 2005, the Co-op had outgrown the store and was in dire need of a new home. REDESIGN acquired the vacant and abandoned former Riverside Market site at 2823 East Franklin Avenue and began work with the Co-op on redevelopment.

REDESIGN followed an extensive community engagement process plan for redevelopment. A plan emerged that dedicated the entire site to Seward Co-op and included the acquisition of additional blighted property. The project doubled the size of the Co-op to over 25,000 square feet by re-using the existing building and constructing a 6,600 square foot addition and a 6,000 square foot second floor for offices and education. The project also included re-configuring alley access and a stormwater demonstration project with funding from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization that included a stormwater catchment system and rain garden. The project is LEED Gold certified.

A citizen-based committee of the Seward Neighborhood Group, the Riverside Market Task Force, worked with Redesign and the Co-op to determine a vision for the site. The expansion brought 50 new jobs to the community and has been a resounding success in offering local, organic, sustainably grown, and fairly traded products to the neighborhood.

Location: 2823 East Franklin Avenue
Developer: Redesign, Inc.
Contractor: Watson Forsberg
Project Scale: 25,600 square feet, $8.3 million


Purchase – March 2006
Construction Closing – December 2007
Completion – January 2009
Financing: Wells Fargo Mortgage – $5,200,000
New Market Tax Credits – $2,430,000
City of Minneapolis Loans – $375,000
Hennepin County ERF – $272,000

CO-OP CREAMERY NEIGHBORHOOD CAFÉ Seward has a long history of supporting cooperative enterprises. The Franklin Creamery Building at 26th and Franklin is a historically important landmark for co-ops, local food, and the food networks they create. Built-in the 1920s as a dairy production plant, the building was originally home to the Franklin Co-op Creamery Association, a milk and delivery co-op that produced 80 percent of the Twin Cities’ milk supply in its heyday.

  • Business Recruitment
  • Project Management
  • Real Estate Services
  • Redevelopment of Obsolete Building