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Development News

Lehman's Garage on 54th & Lyndale reborn as a more energy-efficient shop

Lehman’s Garage, which has been a fixture in South Minneapolis since 1917, is reopening on 54th and Lyndale this week with a new, bigger facility.

Over the summer, its old building was torn down to make way for a longer and narrower 20,000-square-foot facility that’s more environmentally sound, according to project information.

During construction, work at the shop went on, with technicians repairing vehicles from the company’s five other locations.

The state-of-the-art auto body, mechanical, and glass repair shop, which has one level, includes a storefront entrance and windows that overlook the street.

Shannon Rusk, vice-president for development at Oppidan Investment Company, which led the project, explains that energy-efficiency was a top priority.

The company accomplished that with high-efficiency heating and cooling units on the rooftop, along with operable windows that can be adjusted to allow for air-flow and temperature control, she says.  

The building envelope and windows are also energy-efficient, while a rain garden behind the building helps manage stormwater, she says.

Inside its new home are such amenities as a customer lounge and wireless Internet access, state-of-the-art paint booths, employee break areas, and new garage lifts.

“It’s a huge improvement from what was there. It’s a beautiful building,” she says, adding, “It’s a nice, clean, classic design that doesn’t look like a [typical] body shop."

The paints the garage is using are water-based, which is also a green element, she says.

From the beginning, the neighborhood has been supportive of the project. When the proposal reached city officials earlier on, “We didn’t have one issue,” she says. “It’s something that the community wanted."

Source: Shannon Rusk, Oppidan Investment Company
Writer: Anna Pratt
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