Monday, October 17, 2005

Downtown Renewal in New Mexico

It has nothing to do with the Twin Cities, but The New York Times has an interesting article on the pending downtown redevelopment of Las Cruces, New Mexico, that's worth passing along.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Grand Avenue Development Moratorium

In a pleasantly surprising move, the St. Paul City Council has passed a measure that will prevent new development on a stretch of Grand Avenue for a year, allowing neighborhood groups and residents to identify how they want their wonderful little neighborhood to be shaped. Three artciles on the subject worthy of note:

StarTribune: Debating what's good for St. Paul's Grand
StarTribune: Some St. Paul residents back ban on Grand Avenue chains
PioneerPress: St. Paul plan bans big projects

Let's hope the outcome of this moratorium is a zoning and development plan that preserves the area's character without being regressive and obstructionary. While a neighbhood's residents should have a primary say about how their community is shaped, that doesn't always mean they'll be right. (Look at Nicolet Mall in downtown Minneapolis: While many downtown supported the new Target and other developments on the mall, the end result has been a stretch that once housed a large number of local shops and businesses now lacks character and feels like a regular, boring business-district street, only without traffic.)