As part of Minneapolis' continuing effort to keep the city as small as possible, the city council voted on Friday to reject an appeal to permit high-rise towers as part of the Pacific condos and hotel development.
While efforts to maintain the character of the area have a lot of merit, it should be recognized that preventing developments like the Pacific will ultimately lead to a more homogenized (and boring) urban environment. One only needs to go a few blocks north and study the architectural disaster between 1st and 2nd Streets North to see what kind of development we're setting ourselves up for.
It would be a tragedy to let such inspired blandness creep onto Washington Avenue. Even if the 10-floor limit was to remain in force for the rest of the area, it would make sense to let the block in question grow up. I-394 creates somewhat of a blockade to pedestrians, and a major development like the Pacific (which would be across the street from 394's final ramp) could help create a bridge between downtown and the rest of the Warehouse District.