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Minneapolis City Council Shuts down Century Plaza Third Precinct Plan

An aerial shot showing the burned, abandoned old Third Precinct building. (Provided by Georgia Fort)

The Minneapolis City Council voted to scrap the plan to house the city's Third Precinct police station in Century Plaza on the edge of downtown.

The decision is the latest development in a series of clashes between the city council, the mayor, and the communities the precinct will serve. The motion passed with 12 in favor and Council President Andrea Jenkins abstaining.

“I do not support $30 million, 10 years, zero community engagement by the way around this, and it’s supposed to be a temporary solution, what we need is officers back in the Third Precinct, we need to identify a location there,” Councilmember Andrew Johnson said. “None of that negates the need for a real public process around what the precinct should look like, and generally where it should be located in the community.”

Last May, a group of 17 community organizations, including the Longfellow Neighborhood Association, the Phillips West Neighborhood Association, and City Councilmember Robin Wonsley said that the method Minneapolis took to choose the new location was ill-informed and ignored community input. Those same organizations maintain that the city’s plan to house the Third Precinct in Century Plaza was plagued with those same issues.

The vote on Tuesday further delayed the consideration of the precincts' location, despite Mayor Jacob Frey threatening to go forward by himself if the council would not. In a letter to the city council he said “The community needs you to make a decision,” despite the numerous community organizations requesting more time and more community engagement.

The council did decide that construction of the First Precinct station would go forward on Century Plaza.

Members unanimously approved a request in July for Mayor Frey’s office to spend a few more months reviewing Century Plaza as a third option, but the results of that review earlier this month discouraged council members.

The City estimates the fences surrounding the previous Third Precinct building will be removed by spring of 2024. The Minneapolis City Council voted in July that, due to its traumatic history, the building will never house another precinct.

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