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Kevin Garnett's getting into the north Minneapolis affordable housing game

Kevin Garnett wants to buy the Timberwolves. Maybe someday. For now, he's getting into the real estate business with Minneapolis native Devean George.

Kevin Garnett wants to buy the Timberwolves. Maybe someday. For now, he's getting into the real estate business with Minneapolis native Devean George. Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Kevin Garnett grew up in South Carolina, played his high school basketball in Chicago, and played in two NBA Finals, winning one, while playing in Boston.

Yet it's always felt like Minneapolis has had a piece of Garnett's heart. KG started and finished his NBA career in this city, and seemed to look up to late Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders as something of a surrogate father. (Remember this haunting tribute?)

Last year, Garnett announced he'd like to be part of a group that "buys [Glen Taylor] out and kind of removes him" as Timberwolves owner. If such a partnership does exist, Taylor -- who also owns the Star Tribune Company, which owns City Pages -- has said he's not interested in selling the franchise.

Another deal that would keep Garnett connected to Minneapolis is coming together much more smoothly. Tomorrow, the Minneapolis City Planning Commission will review a proposal for an affordable housing project in north Minneapolis, with Garnett and three-time NBA champion (and Minneapolis native) Devean George listed as two of the ownership partners. 

The 64-unit development is planned for the corner of Golden Valley Road and Penn Avenue, combining lots currently owned by the city with others already in possession of George's development firm, George Group North. A South Carolina-based real estate firm is also partnering on the deal, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports.

The $15 million project, which city staff have recommended for approval by the planning commission, would bring 64 rental units to the existing empty lots, which are just across an intersection from the newly opened Wirth Co-Op Grocery store.

The Business Journal notes that the co-op was opened in the Commons at Penn, another affordable housing project of George's. This new project would also come with "amenities and community services space" on the ground floor level, per plans submitted to the city. Other features would include "green space," something called a "pocket park," and parking underneath the building. 

If approved, construction would begin in late fall of this year.

"It's pretty impressive," city of Minneapolis project coordinator Tiffany Glasper tells the Business Journal. "Devean and Kevin could go anywhere in the world to invest their money."

Well, sure. But once you've lived here, like George did as a little kid, and Garnett did as a budding NBA superstar... why would you want to put your money anywhere else?