Two new apartment buildings are rising in the view from my 3rd floor Whittier apartment. I was often enamored with the landscape I could witness but now the feeling is gone, ruined by these housing units. The building immediately adjacent to mine stands six stories tall, towering over my home by two floors. It has taken away probably half of the afternoon’s direct sunlight, jeopardizing the vitality of some of my plants and my vitamin D absorption. Also, it has created many more potential opportunities to make awkward eye contact across the alley with new neighbors. The second building has not had much of an effect on my day-to-day because it is across the street and now out of view, it more so doubles down on the penalty this area is receiving for postponing increased development for so long. Though these changes will take some adjusting too, I am sure to be fine and the city will prosper.
The past year has certainly been unpleasant. When the process began in June of last year with the tear down of the Mortimer’s annex and the parking lot, I knew it was going to be rough. I would find out shortly just how rough when the large construction trucks ran consistently from dawn till noon just removing dirt and packing sand into the ground for more than 4 weeks. It was unlucky to draw the short stick with the morning shift. They couldn’t have at least alternated from week to week? It took about three months for the exterior to be completed and now the noise is limited to short sessions of buzz sawing and dropping waste materials multiple floors into the dumpster in the alley. Though this project has disrupted my beauty sleep, I am optimistic that this is the right move for the area.
The Franklin and Lyndale intersection (#Frankdale) is ripe for more housing investment. It is a neighborhood between neighborhoods, sitting at the corners of Whittier, Lowry Hill East, as well as major access to downtown and I-94. The transit availability is vast with high frequency bus routes on Lyndale, Franklin, and Hennepin (4, 2, and 6). There is quick access to the University of Minnesota with three routes that operate at select times during the morning and afternoon (113, 114, and 115). The 113 for instance will take you from #Frankdale to Wiley Hall on the University campus in less than ten minutes on normal mornings. From there, you can board the Green Line at East Bank Station. The added density with these new and future units could allow Metro Transit to increase service for an area that very much deserves it.
#Frankdale is a hub of bustling businesses. I am sure you have been blocked driving south by someone trying to turn left into the Wedge Co-op parking lot during busy traffic. With a liquor store, dry cleaners, pet store, pharmacy, several bars and more within the space, new residents will immediately have access to many amenities within walking distance. Though the area feels congested already, these new apartment buildings will not affect that much as most residents will be able to live in and enjoy the area easily by foot.
Lest we forget the bikes, #Frankdale sits within mere blocks of a few of the cities best bikeways. It is two short blocks to the Bryant Bike Boulevard. It’s just seven blocks to the Midtown Greenway, passing 26th Street and 28th Street on the way. It is four short blocks from the Blaisdell One-Way. Adding better biking infrastructure on Franklin could make this area of Whittier and the Wedge the best for biking in Minneapolis. Any way you shake it, the triangle is a great place to live. There are other locations like #Frankdale across Minneapolis but access can be restricted if the city blocks housing. The change will take some adjusting to and the process of change can be just downright burdensome, but the city is getting it right here. I am willing to put up with the turmoil of change knowing everything will be fine in the end, and I hope you will too.