Category: Economics

Why Minneapolis needs a Land Value Tax

This image shows a mostly undeveloped parking lot, occupying a full block of prime real estate in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Why does this lot remain underdeveloped? The owner of the land could increase their income drastically if they developed the land to its fullest potential. Additionally, the city as a whole would gain […]

Xcel Wind Blade Assembly

Building New Wind Power is Cheaper Than Any Other Power Source

Electricity prices are not directly related to creating safer streets for all, but they are related to our interests in housing and the environment. It is important to recognize some of the turning points in the history of sustainable energy. One of those turning points happened just last year, when onshore wind power (like that […]

Why a Major Outer-suburban Real Estate Downturn is Imminent

I believe the stage is set for large, outer-suburban houses to decline drastically in value. This will likely result in abandonment or subdivision into multiple units before mortgages are paid off. In the long-term future, many outer-suburban homeowners will probably foreclose, if the taxpayer doesn’t bail them out. There are many factors predictive of this […]

San Francisco Skyline From The Bay Near Fisherman's Wharf

Rent in San Francisco is $4,314; in Minneapolis, it’s $1,615

I recently reviewed a commercial real estate report from the first half of this year. Takeaway: Vacancy is steady at around 7 to 8 percent. The report got me thinking about home prices and rental rates across the country and what the humble dollar gets you in different cities. Check out all the Zillow data […]

Lime Scooters At Gateway Park May 23 2019

Lime Quietly Raises Prices on Scooter Rentals

Recently, Lime increased its pricing in Minneapolis and St. Paul from $1 plus 15 cents per minute to $1 plus 20 cents per minute. For a typical five-minute ride, this increases the total cost by 14 percent, from $1.75 to $2 even. For a longer ride of 10 minutes, the increase is 20 percent. Rival […]

Boring Tunnel

Predictions on the Future of Mobility

I was reflecting on the May 8 Chart of the Day post on micro-mobility that mapped the middle 68 percentile of trips for 18 modes of transportation, and I collected a few thoughts on the future of mobility. I have written several posts recently on bike share, ride share, and electric scooters, the rented side […]

Screen Shot 2019 05 08 At 12.47.59 Pm

It’s Impossible to Afford Rent on the Minimum Wage

Minneapolis and St. Paul both recently passed municipal minimum wage ordinances that were intended to lift up the working poor. In Minneapolis, the current minimum wage is $11.25 for large businesses, and that is scheduled to increase to $15.00 by July 1, 2022. The current minimum wage in St. Paul is the state minimum of […]

Stonearchapts

How TIF Can Solve a Market Failure in Minneapolis

I wrote an earlier post that explains what TIF is and how it works. Click through and read it here. In any community, we put things we want in plans. We want good jobs for the people who live here. We want homes people can afford to rent and buy. We want polluted land cleaned […]

Uber Chart

As Lyft and Uber Go Public, the Future of Mobility Remains Up for Grabs

On April 11, Uber registered for an initial public offering of stock (IPO) with the government. As part of that filing, the company revealed more about its financials than is required by law. The document gives an insight into Uber’s business challenges and the evolving market of rented mobility. Included on page 3 of Uber’s […]

Whole Foods Spices

Whole Foods Just Lowered Prices, Just a Little

Whole Foods announced recently that they were planning on reducing prices store-wide as part of Amazon’s campaign to combat the image of a “Whole paycheck” grocery store. The Whole Foods media release gloated, “Starting Wednesday, customers will find new lower prices on hundreds of items throughout the store with an emphasis on high quality, peak-of-season […]