Tag Archives | development

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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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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Arial view of downtown Rochester, MN

The Consolidation Problem

It came as no shock to me to read the Stantec report recommending major changes to the Rochester Planning Department. Rochester doesn’t have a planning department. When it comes to planning for Rochester, we have zoomed out and presently view the growth issues of our city through a countywide lens. Lost is the fine-grained detail […]

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A Response To “Creating Healthy Cities”

Depending on how many urbanists make up your social media circles, you might have seen a bit of shade being thrown towards a recent article written for Ohio Business Magazine, Creating Healthy Cities. The website hosting the article offers a comments section, but it appears to be a black hole through which no dissent survives. Luckily, […]

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Dense Development Belongs in Neighborhood Interiors Too

You may have heard about the proposal to re-zone the Lowry Hill East neighborhood of Minneapolis (commonly known as The Wedge, not to be confused with the defunct neighborhood newspaper or grocery co-op of the same name). Some people are opposed. I am one of them. I’ve been meaning to write something specific about the merits of […]

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Form & Function: Four Corners – International Falls

This is the intersection of 3rd Street and 5th Avenue in International Falls. Overwhelmingly for me, the best of this is the NE corner where Coffee Landing is located. These buildings are enjoyable to walk by and to view from across the street. They have a great connection to the street inside and out (though […]

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Median Rents v. Median Income

Obama To Cities: Build Some Housing Already

On September 26th, the Obama administration released the Housing Development Toolkit, signalling to the country that they are on Team YIMBY (that’s “Yes In My BackYard”). The document outlines the barriers for housing growth that many cities, including Minneapolis and Saint Paul, have been experiencing in recent years. Local zoning laws, outdated land use regulations, […]

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Podcast #89: Talking Columbia Heights with City Council Candidate Sean Broom

Hello! I’m rebooting the podcast after a long hiatus. My equipment was stolen along with my bike pannier a while ago, but thanks to the help of some supporters, I was able to replace and upgrade it with some new and better microphones. So thanks to everyone who pitched in! I really appreciate it. With […]

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Eating Spam Downtown: A Story of Big Box Reuse

What to do with the empty boxes at the edge of town? The small town of Austin, Minnesota, was faced with this question. They had an answer. The largest employer in town, Hormel Foods, swept-in and transformed an empty K-Mart into something special. The Spam Museum is one-of-a-kind; there are no others. And, for this […]

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