Archive | Development

Minneapolis Zoning Plate #25 from 1975. Again, we see areas where apartments were previously allowed changed to prevent their construction, replaced with R2B zoning.

Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing Shortage Rooted in Downzoning of 1970s

Efforts are underway to preserve existing “naturally occurring affordable housing” (NOAH) in Minneapolis. A $25 million loan program created by the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) will provide non-profit housing organizations with low-interest loans in order to purchase and preserve existing NOAH properties. What is a NOAH property? The GMHF site puts it this way: […]

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Wyoming is Asking the Right Questions About Job Creation

It’s no longer news that business incentive programs are controversial. A landmark New York Times investigation back in 2012 found that state and local governments gave up more than $80 billion each year to companies. Further back but closer to home, a 2008 report from Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor concluded that the now-defunct […]

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Bauhaus Design and The Sidewalk Ballet: Two Conflicting Views of “Neighborhood Character”

It is with great joy that I have seen some of the authors here at streets.mn start to open up discussion on the meaning of “neighborhood character.”  Answering the question about neighborhood character is difficult to do quantitatively, as it is hard to measure what culture is and how it is changing. That said, the […]

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Victoria Park: A Short History of Intentions

The vigorous and spirited debate about the future of the Ford Plant site in Highland Park got me thinking about another large, polluted, previously industrial site in Saint Paul. The history of development of Victoria Park, which is bounded by West 7th Street, Otto Avenue, and Shepard Road, offers a lesson in plans changing over […]

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No Shortage of Development in the Halloween Capital

During the recession, the City of Anoka bought up properties, prepared the land, and quietly waited for the market to come back. Fast forward to 2017, and Anoka is booming. The City has many features that make it a development destination. Residents are served by the Northstar Commuter rail line and Highway 10 provides east […]

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Dear Mortenson: Please Don’t Name an Apartment Building YOLO

Like many of you, I regularly lurk on the streets.mn forums to stay current on development news around Minneapolis and Saint Paul. This past Monday (April 17th), one of the big development stories of the day was the unveiling of updated designs for a new apartment tower being considered at 333 Hennepin Ave E.   […]

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New Minneapolis Housing Projects Head to Planning Commission – April 2017

There’s a handful of housing projects coming up on the April 13, 2017 Minneapolis Planning Commission Committee of the Whole Agenda. I’m primarily writing this because every time people hear about new housing being built, there are often groans of “Ugh, it’s always more bro/luxury apartments.” It’s not really true, so I wanted to highlight these projects. So here’s a […]

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The Need for #HousingnotBillboards in Saint Paul

Saint Paul is not lacking for one or two story commercial buildings topped with billboards. This is frustrating on many levels – they are designed for drivers, not pedestrians; there are no design standards; and they are often ignored in “neighborhood character” discussions. The first two of those frustrations, driver-focused design and lack of design standards, are […]

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Placemaking and Animal People: Why “Night in the Woods” Rocks

Night in the Woods is a video game about an anthropomorphic cat. It’s also one of the most insightful explorations of the challenges struggling communities face today — and the hidden strengths that bring those communities together. Night in the Woods tells the story of a college dropout named Mae who returns to her hometown […]

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