By | October 19, 2023

For several years, I’ve been writing a blog about Minneapolis and about my activities in Minneapolis during the 94 years that I’ve resided on this earth and in Minneapolis. During this time, Minneapolis offered a wonderful quality of life.

During these years, Minneapolis also had many challenges – problems. I consider myself a problem solver and considered these problems to be challenges – opportunities.

  • To reuse the Douglas School site, I built the first owner-occupied townhomes in Minneapolis (Manor Homes of Lowry Hill)
  • To encourage and provide downtown living, I built the first owner-occupied townhomes in downtown (Greenway Gables) – and livered there for 40 years.
  • To create an off leash play space for dogs in downtown Minneapolis, I led a team that built the off leash dog park in Loring Park.
  • To assist seniors in need, I led a team that created the large full-service, senior facility (Sholom Alliance).
  • To provide needed alternative education, I led a team that created Chiron Middle School.
  • To overcome a 20-year zoning controversy, I built townhomes on the site where a developer had threatened to build a hi-rise tower (Mt. Curve Place).
  • To create the first in-city Commercial Center in Minneapolis, I built the nationally recognized Calhoun Square Community Shopping Center.
  • To find an in-city location for the Minnesota Orchestra, I found a location, purchased the property and re-located the existing tenants (Orchestra Hall).
  • To avoid the demolishing of the Sears Tower on Lake Street. I led a team that acquired the Sears Tower and the adjacent 19 acres. The property was then converted into the corporate office headquarters of the Allina Health System and the very popular Midtown Exchange Retail Center.
  • To tactfully accept and relocate the wonderful fountain gift from Benjamin Berger which was to be located in front of the Walker Art Center. I negotiated a move of the fountain to Loring Park – thereby preserving the acreage in front of the Walker for the spectacular Sculpture Garden.

And that’s only a partial list! I’d say my Modus Operandi “converting lemons into lemonade” has been successful and served me well and as long as I’m able, I intend to continue.

Today, 2023, physical limitations prevent me from providing the leadership and energy that I have always focused on attacking a current problem – opportunity. I can still devise solutions; Now, however, my counsel and advice will necessarily require significantly more collaboration to achieve the desired goals.

7 thoughts on “Opportunity

  1. Jim Smart

    You truly are a miracle man my friend, Don Quixote! I miss you and send best wishes, love and much gratitude from the Catskills!

    Your old friend and fan,

    Jim Smart

  2. Melissa Mark

    Hello! I enjoy reading your blog quite a bit – thank you for sharing your “notes”!
    Both Mom and I send you heaps of good wishes

  3. Lily Coyle

    Ray, sounds like 94 = “just getting started!” I love seeing your updates and will schedule a visit, soon!
    I just mentioned you in a post of gratitude. Yesterday marks my twelfth year at Beaver’s Pond Press and on my very looooong list of names of people I credit for my publishing journey, you came in second, right after Milt “Beaver” Adams. XOXOXOX

  4. Joan Shapiro

    Ray. The list you gave is a what’s what of Minnespolis RealEstate I hope you are as proud of your accomplishments as s I am. With love and affection your cousin Joan

  5. Joe “Pat” McCormick

    Ray, great to see you’re alive and kicking at the young age of 94!!
    Always enjoyed working with you in the Uptown area. Would love to grab a coffee (or whatever nonagenarians drink) and catch up with you.

    Joe McCormick

  6. Dave Jasper

    I miss our many hours together working on the Lake-Street-Sears Project. I am only 8 years behind you, Soon to catch you up.

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