GAF, founded in 1886, has become North America’s largest manufacturer of commercial and residential roofing. The business operates a shingle manufacturing plant at Lowry Avenue and the Mississippi River in the 4th Ward. Over the years, residents have raised concerns about the odors from the plant and its environmental impacts.
From May 2010 through 2017, GAF leased from the City of Minneapolis a parcel that is immediately north of the GAF plant (and is the southernmost parcel in the City-owned Upper Harbor Terminal Site). This parcel has been used by GAF for storage of shingles manufactured at the adjacent plant. The City notified GAF in early 2017 that it did not intend to extend that lease, but GAF requested reconsideration of that decision. As a result, the leased parcel has not yet been vacated, and shingles continue to be stored on site.
After much consideration and hearing from GAF, City employees, Ward 4 residents, and the residents from neighboring Wards 1 and 3, the decision has been made that the City will not renew the lease for the GAF shingles storage. It is in the best interest of our residents and in line with City initiatives to be cleaner, greener, and zero waste.
As the new Council Member for the 4th Ward, I do not support a lease renewal with GAF for shingle storage on City-owned land along the Mississippi River. This is done with the support of my Council colleagues from the surrounding wards, also impacted, and on behalf of frustrated Northside and Northeast communities. Despite this challenging decision, my hand remains extended to working with GAF as a long-time business in my ward.
GAF has been informed that they must provide an update regarding the frozen grounds by April 15, 2018 and vacate by June 1, 2018. If GAF fails to vacate by that date, the City Attorney’s Office will initiate an unlawful detainer action. The City and its terminal manager will seek replacement interim tenants that could use the parcel until it is ready to be redeveloped as part of the overall Upper Harbor Terminal vision.
4th Ward Council Member