Author: Conrad Zbikowski

Conrad Zbikowski

About Conrad Zbikowski

Downtown Minneapolis resident covering local issues including parks, transportation, zoning, and development.

NLX train

Reader Survey Results: Economics of Amtrak from Minneapolis to Duluth

On March 27, we posted about the numbers surrounding the proposed $600 million investment to bring Amtrak rail service along a corridor between Minneapolis and Duluth. Many of you shared your stories of rail and bus travel, and many expressed a deep appreciation for the comfort and conveniences of travel by rail. To learn more, I created a […]

Nice Ride Docked Manual Media Photo

Nice Ride Leaves St. Paul as Market for Scooters Heats Up

On April 2, Nice Ride sent an email to members announcing the start of the riding season April 15 (now April 22, Earth Day, due to weather). In the email, the transportation network nonprofit shared that it was leaving the St. Paul market after nearly a decade on the streets of the capital city. St. […]

Whole Foods Produce

Affordability: Shopping at and Living Near Grocery Stores

I consider myself a savvy shopper. I check prices online and in-store and tend to avoid expensive places unless I need a few things I would have to drive to get elsewhere. The year is 2019, and we don’t have to be tied to our neighborhood geography when choosing where to buy groceries. With services […]

Final Four Nicollet Mall News Room S 10th St 2019 04 06

Final Four on Nicollet Mall Shows What Downtown Minneapolis Could Be

On semifinal Saturday, as the game between Virginia and Auburn was about to begin, I followed the streaming crowds backward to Nicollet Mall, where the other half of the fan base was enjoying our new pedestrian mall, now vehicle-free! Traffic was relatively light, and visitors were taking to the sidewalk pretty well. One Final Four […]

St. Paul Empire Builder

Reader Survey: What Would You Pay for Minneapolis-Duluth Rail Service?

On March 27, we posted about the numbers surrounding the proposed $600 million investment to bring Amtrak rail service along a corridor between Minneapolis and Duluth. Many of you shared your stories of rail and bus travel, and many expressed a deep appreciation for the comfort and conveniences of travel by rail. In an effort […]

St. Paul Empire Builder

Could the Commuter Rail from Minneapolis to Duluth be a Flop?

A recent Star Tribune post on a new bus service starting at $9 to Duluth got me thinking about all the recent talk about having a government-sponsored, commuter rail service to Duluth. Amtrak recently announced that it was interested in investing $600 million to develop a rail service from Minneapolis to Superior and Duluth, using […]

Rafter Cenhen Southwest aerial

Ritzy Rafter Apartments in CenHen Opening August 1st

The new Rafter development will likely be one of the last large apartment buildings finished in Minneapolis before inclusionary zoning requires new construction to include affordable apartments. Pricing is out for units ranging from a 442 square-foot studio for $1,270 ($2.87 per square-foot) to a 2733square-foot 3-bed for $9,970 ($3.65 per square-foot). In other words, if they don’t […]

Archive North Loop Pile Driving

Another Surface Parking Lot Bites the Dust

This morning, the North Loop was awoken by the sweet sound of pile driving as the Archive project started construction on a surface parking lot near the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. The surface parking lot is one of the last in the area, with several being redeveloped in the last ten years into mixed-use […]

Solaris North Loop Corner View

New North Loop Six-Story Rises Up

Framing of the second story has begun on the new North Loop mixed-use development by Solaris Redevelopment Corp. and Weiss Builders. The project broke ground on a set of large surface parking lots in July 2018. When complete, the property will house 156 residential units and approximately 22,670 square feet of commercial space. For parking, the developer […]

Nicole Curtis

HGTV Thrives on Gentrification, and It’s My Guilty Pleasure

Home & Garden Television (HGTV) recently announced a new special called Rock the Block. The premise of the show is that four of the network’s top designers will be given four nearly-identical houses on a suburban block and each a budget of $150,000 and four weeks to turn them into dream homes. The designer that […]