Welcome to the second installment of our periodic series, Vacant Lots of Southwest Minneapolis.

In our first installment, we visited an empty triple lot next to Cinco de Mayo Market, a planned 54-unit affordable housing development and future offices of Whittier Alliance and Alliance Housing, and a weedy double lot on a quiet Kingfield street.

In this edition, we’ll visit a shuttered Speedway in Loring Park, the former Lyndale Avenue home of Beek’s King of Pizza, and a Linden Hills lot where an Edina developer plans to build three units of new housing.

#1: 101 Grant St W (Loring Park Speedway)

101 Grant St. W on March 28. Photo by Brian Martucci

Location: 101 Grant St. W

Value of lot: $904,900 (2024)

Owner: Realty Income Corporation, a San Diego-based real estate investment trust


Most recently a Speedway, and before that a SuperAmerica, the convenience store and gas station at the southeast corner of LaSalle and Grant Avenues was a Loring Park establishment until it closed in early 2022.

The parcel quickly became a nuisance property. The local neighborhood association, Citizens for a Loring Park Community, eventually paid to fence it off.

The site is owned by Realty Income Corporation, a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in California. According to Twin Cities Business, which reported on the fencing plans, Realty Income Corporation “owns most Speedways in Minnesota.”

Hennepin County records show Realty Income Corporation bought the property for $2.17 million in December 2010. That’s a significant premium to its most recent tax valuation of $904,900.

Known development plans

None known. Realty Income Corporation hasn’t responded to Southwest Voices’ inquiries about its plans for the property.

Potential future

The old Loring Park Speedway sits on a commercial corridor in one of the city’s most densely populated neighborhoods. But any redevelopment plans may be complicated by the fact that it shares a party wall with the Grant Street Mall, a fully occupied retail strip under different ownership.

#2: 5336 Lyndale Ave S

5336 Lyndale Ave. S on March 28. Photo by Brian Martucci

Location: 5336 Lyndale Ave. S (former Beek’s Pizza building)

Value of lot: $137,400 (2024)

Owner: DJVM Minneapolis LLC, a subsidiary of Michigan-based MTB Partners


Longtime South Minneapolis residents were heartbroken to see the home of Beek’s Pizza go up in flames in January 2013. The original Hiawatha Avenue location was the city’s “in” pizza place, favored by “men in tuxedos…mill workers [and] high schoolers,” Minneapolis Tribune columnist Robert T. Smith wrote in 1970.

At one time, Beek’s Pizza had several Twin Cities locations, but it was down to just two by 2013. The last outpost, in St. Louis Park, shuttered in 2016.

Beek’s former Lyndale Avenue location is now a grassy lot between the Minneapolis Counseling Clinic at 5346 Lyndale and the Blue Cross Animal Hospital parking lot at 5330 Lyndale.  MTB Partners, a privately owned real estate company based near Detroit, owns

the Beek’s parcel, the animal hospital parking lot, and the animal hospital.  

Known development plans

None known. MTB Partners didn’t immediately respond to inquiries about its plans for the site.

MTB Partners “specializes in build-to-suit transactions with national retailers and also in the acquisition, development and ownership of institutional, investment-grade, income-producing properties…including retail, restaurants, office, mixed-use urban development and apartments,” according to its website.

MTB Partners owner Michael Bailey’s LinkedIn profile includes a current role as Chief Development Officer for Patton Wings, “the largest Buffalo Wild Wings franchisee in the U.S. with 103 locations in eight states.”

MTB Partners purchased 5336, 5330, and 5328 Lyndale Ave. in September 2021 for a combined $1.5 million. The company paid $655,000 for 5336 Lyndale, more than triple its tax valuation, suggesting it sees a higher and better use for the site.

Potential future

Could a B-Dubs or other franchise restaurant be in the cards for the former Beek’s Pizza site? The ingredients are certainly there for it. A bustling commercial corridor, experienced ownership, and three contiguous parcels big enough to fit the requisite building and parking space.

Blue Cross Animal Hospital patrons likely wouldn’t be happy about that turn of events, though. And the City would likely prefer to see denser mixed-use development on a lot like this.

#3: 4200 Upton Ave S

4200 Upton Ave. S on March 28. Photo by Brian Martucci

Location: 4200 Upton Ave. S (former Linden Hills Congregational Church site)

Value of lot: $2,486,200 (2023)

Owner: City Homes, an Edina housing developer


This 13,200 square-foot lot was home to the Linden Hills Congregational Church for nearly 120 years, according to Joy in Minnesota. The original church building went up in 1903 and saw a major addition a few years later. In 1968, the congregation replaced one wing of the 1900s-era worship building with an educational annex.

By the 2010s, the congregation’s membership was in decline and the building was beset by age-related issues. Its financial woes deepened during the COVID pandemic and by 2022 leadership decided to sell. Edina-based custom housing developer City Homes submitted the winning bid of $700,000, well under the property’s 2023 tax value of $2.5 million.

City Homes demolished the church building last year but left parts of the foundation in place to prevent erosion, according to a City of Minneapolis staff report on the developer’s proposal.

Known development plans

On Oct. 30, 2023, the City Planning Commission approved City Homes’ proposal to subdivide 4200 Upton Ave. S into two lots and build a condominium duplex and single-family home on the newly created parcels. The new residences would be served by a shared driveway.

The single-family home’s plan calls for a two-story structure with three beds, three baths, and a two-stall garage. The duplex plan calls for two owner-occupied, side-by-side units, each with three beds, three baths, and attached two-stall garages.

City Homes President Rebecca Remick said the duplex would be a rowhome-style product commonly seen in bigger cities like Chicago and New York. Each unit will have a private elevator, which Remick said helps with internal space efficiency and accessibility for a wider range of users.

Potential future

Hennepin County property records show the subdivision, which needs to occur before City Homes can break ground, as “in progress.” The City staff report mentions the need for additional administrative site plan review, but it’s not clear whether that has taken place yet.
Remick said the units should be listed for sale in the coming weeks and begin construction sometime this spring. Once the exterior shells are up, City Homes will work with each unit’s future owner to customize the interior floor plan, utilities and finishes, she said.