Sunday, August 08, 2004

Ikea != Hyperport

The StarTribune has a very thorough article on the underwhelming progress towards Phase II of the Mall of America. An excerpt:
Measured by the crowds that have greeted its opening over the past three weeks, the new Ikea store in Bloomington has been an unqualified success. But measured against the ambitious plans to develop a one-of-a-kind parcel across from the Mall of America, Ikea stands as the only result of a vision that was much more far-reaching. At 53 acres, the property was targeted to house nothing less than the second phase of the mall. An eye-popping plan called for hotels, office buildings, a performing-arts center and a futuristic high-technology complex that would be known as the "Hyperport."
Read the full story at

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

City Pages on Minneapolis' Heritage Park development

The cover story of August 4th's City Pages focuses on the planning for Minneapolis' Heritage Park development, as well as the extreme level of scrutiny the project is working under. While one of the project's stated goals is to mix individuals and family's of different backgrounds and income levels, just how much of a community can be built is somewhat up in the air:
Later, however, when I read through the Heritage Park "Community House Rules," I realized that tenants are largely invisible by design. They can't work on their cars or ride bikes or skate on the sidewalks, and, in fact, "outside activities"--including sitting, standing, and congregating--"are not permitted in front of the apartment."
Further on in the article:
Rules of conduct are necessary and not at all unusual. The project does offer parklike commons areas. And if tenants want to hang pictures of fetuses or Dennis Kucinich on their dining room walls, that's fine with Swain. But mingling is not exactly encouraged, and Heritage Park by design contains little opportunity for the kinds of spontaneous interactions that take place in nonplanned neighborhoods all the time.
See the full story at