Tag Archives | development

Saint Kate’s Parking Lot Wants to Pave the Trees

A friend, who happens to be a Saint Catherine’s alum, told me a tale about the not too distant past. The city of Saint Paul was looking to run Prior Avenue straight through Saint Kate’s campus. Things like that take time and as soon as the nuns at the school heard the city’s plan they worked […]

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Can the West Loop Still Happen?

If you asked one of the thousands of new Minneapolis residents who moved in since 2010 “What are the borders of North Loop?”, you may find they consider the western border to be the 4th Street freeway viaduct. Despite the neighborhood continuing on west up to I-94, the viaduct walls off a landscape of low […]

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Open Streets at PennFest

Penn & 66th is the best small business district in Richfield. Why replace it?

Last spring, at a voter forum for Richfield’s west-side Council seat, there were a number of questions about the mid-century commercial development that lines Penn Avenue between the Crosstown and 68th Street. Voters and candidates spoke of “tired” buildings, non-conforming sites, and inadequate parking. These questions about Penn Avenue seem to come up in every […]

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Checking Back with a Saint Paul Snelby Decision

Do you know what happens not nearly often enough? Looking back at urban design debates of the past and checking to see how they played out. For example, streets.mn writer and board member Sam Newberg had a series of posts he had started where he’d look at developments that celebrated their 10th anniversary, and see […]

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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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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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