Thursday, June 23, 2005

Uptown: Vitality only allowed during evening hours

In an incredibly disappointing move, the Minneapolis City Council Zoning and Planning Committee, when given a choice between a huge surface parking lot or an unsubsidized, high-density, mixed-use development, decided to go with the parking lot. Two quotes from the StarTribune article on the decision attempted to explain the committee's logic behind the rejection. The first came from Council Member Gary Schiff, who said he liked most of the proposal, but:
"We're willing to change the character to support taller buildings, but not this tall. We were willing to do 10 stories."
And the second:
"Uptown is not downtown," [Minneapolis Mayor] Rybak said. "Right now the expectation is Uptown is not a high-rise district."
Right. Because God forbid we allow the site--right next to the Uptown Transit Station, the Midtown Greenway, the proposed crosstown light rail line and numerous shops and business that are underutilized during the day--turn into anything other than the nightime entertainment district it serves as today.

On the bright side, if there is one, a few words of wisdom came from outgoing council member Dan Niziolek. "Jobs do belong in our neighborhoods so people can walk to work," he said, in response to Schiff's position that the placement of hundreds of jobs in Uptown would bring more cars, congestion and air pollution.

So now, as it stands, the huge parking lot remains. I'm sure The Ackerberg Group and the folks at Financial Freedom realty are gong to come back with a new proposal, but when they do, it's probably going to be wider and decidedly less sexy.

Or maybe they'll just lop off three stories and ask for public subsidies.

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iauu2pprs04veiy said...
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