Archive | Development

The Developing Thrivent Building Story

As of right now, Thrivent Financial owns a collection of surface parking lots and one uniquely shaped 18-story tower in Downtown Minneapolis. For what seems like ages, their tower loomed over a vacant corridor of the city where even surface parking was off limits, contracted only to the employees of Thrivent Financial. But following the […]

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Kitten Reading Internet Comments

We Read the Strib Parking Article’s Comments So You Don’t Have To

When controversy happens….when tempers flare….we read the comments, so you don’t have to. On Sunday, as teased on Twitter by our own @streetsmn account, the Star Tribune posted an article It’s not your imagination — parking is disappearing in Minneapolis. The subhead and picture on the article gave a taste of what was to come, with a […]

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Five Reasons to Support the Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study

The Saint Paul City Council hearing on the Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study is on September 6th, 2017. Highland District Council, Macalester Groveland Community Council and Union Park District Council voted to support the Study. The Snelling Avenue South Zoning Study recommends Traditional Neighborhood rezoning of Snelling and its commercial nodes. Traditional Neighborhood zoning will […]

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A Plan for Tearing Down Exclusionary Zoning Walls

Earlier this month, The New York Times ran an op-end titled “The Walls We Won’t Tear Down” about how some of society’s worst problems have a very boring cause: exclusionary zoning laws. Here’s the conclusion: Just as it is shameful for government regulation to exclude people from neighborhoods on the basis of race, it is similarly deplorable […]

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The Ford Site Debate is Also About Equity

About two weeks ago, the Planning Commission finally passed Saint Paul’s plans for the old Ford factory in Highland. The vote was unanimous to support to support the city’s plans, which called for around 4,000 units of housing and plenty of mixed-use, along with a host of other amenities. (Note: there was also an amendment […]

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Adventures in Suburbia: Building Affordable Housing in Blaine

On a 6-1 vote on August 3, the Blaine (MN) City Council approved an actual high-density housing development. I have previously questioned Blaine’s priorities for development, including years of bizarre hand-wringing over putting high-density housing in other locations, like in The Lakes development. However, Blaine has decided that it is time to approve some density. […]

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We Must Foster Opportunity on Hennepin Avenue

At the Lowry Hill Ice Cream Social a couple weeks ago, my neighbors asked me what I think about the Peris development proposal by The John and Denise Graves Foundation for affordable youth housing. It’s tucked on an awkward, oddly shaped parcel between Colfax and Hennepin Avenue, right where the freeway exit dumps drivers out […]

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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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