It’s here: the third installment of our periodic series, Vacant Lots of Southwest Minneapolis.

Our second installment took us to a boarded-up Loring Park Speedway, the former home of a beloved South Lyndale pizza joint, and a demolished Linden Hills church that’s soon to host high-end urban dwellings.

Today, we revisit South Lyndale to see what became of the old neighborhood liquor store, swing by a tucked-away block near the Nicollet Kmart site, and venture slightly outside our coverage area to check on an infill residential development rising on the site of an old dental office.

#1: 5300 Lyndale Ave. (formerly South Lyndale Liquors) 

5300 Lyndale Ave. on April 22. Photo by Brian Martucci

Location: 5300 Lyndale Ave.

Value of lot: $1,838,300 (2023)

Owner: CLK Holdings, LLC


South Lyndale Liquors, 5300 Lyndale’s longtime occupant, moved last year to a newly built and much larger building two blocks south.

Owner Dan Campo told Southwest Voices the move came because “we were woefully out of space, my landlord swore they would never sell me the building and kept raising my rent, and at a certain point my option to be successful at business and to carry on was to look for another location.”

South Lyndale Liquors occupied 5300 Lyndale for 45 years when Campo’s dad ran the business (Campo took over the business from his father in 2007).

The building has been a constant presence in the neighborhood since its construction in 1924, when the surrounding area was being developed. It survived a major fire in 1953, though it’s unclear how much of the original structure remained afterward. It’s not clear what the building was used for before it was a liquor store.

Known development plans

None known. The building and parking lot at 5300 Lyndale now sit vacant, and the property does not appear to be up for sale or lease. Southwest Voices was unable to reach CLK Properties, a New York real estate investment company that appears to be the owner.

Potential future

Unknown. Though outdated, the building at 5300 Lyndale could presumably host a new retail business with minimal renovation. But, like the rest of Lyndale Avenue south of Minnehaha Creek, the 0.56-acre parcel is zoned for denser mixed-use development, and its prime corner location makes it a potential redevelopment target. A higher-density development could result in the removal of the surface parking lot, which is currently not utilized.

#2: 2900 Nicollet Ave., et al.

2900 Nicollet Ave. on May 1. Photo by Ellie Zimmerman.

Location: 2900 Nicollet Ave., 13 W. 29th St., 17 W. 29th St., 2901 Blaisdell Ave.

Value of lot: $1,402,600 (2024)

Owner: Paul S. Jablonsky


These four parcels front along W. 29th St. between Blaisdell Ave. and Nicollet. Ave., immediately north of the Midtown Greenway.

Currently, 2901 Blaisdell hosts the site’s largest building, a warehouse built in 1945 that appears to be underutilized or entirely vacant. The middle parcels, 13 and 17 W. 29th St., are paved, fenced-off vacant lots. 2900 Nicollet is a self-service car wash built in 1985 and has been closed for several years.

City permitting records tell a livelier tale. At various points, the four parcels were home to some sort of barn, multiple dwelling units, and a gas station, among many other uses from the late 1800s into the 1970s. On one property, one fire was serious enough to warrant structural repairs. The latest entry in the historical record shows the gas station was demolished in 1982.

Today, all four parcels are owned by Paul S. Jablonsky, whose listed address is in Northeast Minneapolis. Jablonsky is president of the Ukrainian American Community Center, according to Stand With Ukraine MN.

Known development plans

None known. However, the entire block is highlighted in the City’s Lake and Nicollet Redevelopment Plan, which is guiding the redevelopment of the Nicollet Kmart site and surrounding parcels in the coming years. The four parcels will likely see some degree of development in the future, but no specific proposals have emerged.

Potential future

The Lake and Nicollet Redevelopment Plan’s land use map suggests 2900 Nicollet for high-density mixed-use development and the other three parcels for high-density residential. All four are marked in the plan’s property acquisition map as “properties that may be acquired.” And because the entire project area meets the legal definition of a “blighted area” under Minnesota law, those acquisitions could occur through eminent domain, or taxing authorities’ right to force property sales for the public good.

All that said, it’ll probably be years before significant development occurs on the block. First, the City needs to reconnect Nicollet Ave. across the Midtown Greenway and through the Kmart site. Work on that project is expected to begin next year.

#3: 5401 Chicago Ave.

5401 Chicago Ave. on April 22. Picture by Brian Martucci

Location: 5401 Chicago Ave.

Value of lot: $1,949,000 (2024)

Owner: New Life Properties


Before becoming the parking lot of the now-shuttered Gentle Dentistry, 5401 Chicago Ave. was a neighborhood gas station. City permitting records show construction beginning in 1967, with Shell Oil Co. listed as the contractor. An automatic car wash appeared on the site in 1972, shortly before permitting records end.

Gentle Dentistry itself occupied an adjoining parcel at 811 54th St. E. City permitting records show the building built in 1955.

Known development plans

The City approved New Life Properties’ proposal last year to build a four-story, 47-unit mixed-use building on the site. Finance & Commerce describes New Life Properties as a local developer that “specializes in developing small- to mid-size projects on infill sites in Minneapolis” and utilizes the City’s 4D affordable housing program on some projects.

The building will have 3,800 square feet of ground-floor commercial space below a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments, according to the New Life Properties’ proposal. Onsite parking includes 22 enclosed car stalls and 53 bike stalls. A co-working space, “club room,” and outdoor amenity deck round out the proposal.

NAI Global’s real estate information database says a “10-year executed lease for a French bistro restaurant [is] already in place,” but Southwest Voices was unable to independently confirm that.

Potential future

The four-story building is under construction. The old Gentle Dentistry building was demolished last June and its replacement began to rise not long after. On April 22, dozens of workers were busy inside and outside a green-wrapped building, which appears to be topped out and more or less structurally complete. It’s not clear whether construction is on track to wrap up this year, as NAI Global said, but progress is definitely being made.