Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
twincitizen
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby twincitizen » May 18th, 2020, 4:26 pm

Putting this here so it doesn’t get lost in the busy general thread. Great read overall, lots of choice quotes from developers and politicians.

The Downtown Minneapolis vibrancy conundrum: http://tcbmag.com/news/articles/2020/ma ... -conundrum

Mdcastle
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Mdcastle » May 18th, 2020, 8:45 pm

I find it interesting the asseveration that Chicago's vibrancy comes from in part traffic congestion being so horrific that office workers are stuck after work buying overpriced food an beverages rather than being able to get home to their family in the suburbs.

Also, on my article on the changing retail scene there was a comment to the effect that the United States has way too much retail, something like 10 times that of Germany. I don't know but looking around at all the vacancies it seems to me there is indeed too muc. Although I get while the developers forced to put in ground level retail or else they wouldn't be allowed to build aren't inclined to subdivide it, I don't think that if they did there'd be anywhere close to enough cute local coffee shops or whatever to fill them.

QuietBlue
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby QuietBlue » May 19th, 2020, 8:40 am

I find it interesting the asseveration that Chicago's vibrancy comes from in part traffic congestion being so horrific that office workers are stuck after work buying overpriced food an beverages rather than being able to get home to their family in the suburbs.
I wonder if he was referring more to people who live in other parts of Chicago proper doing that (probably more on the younger side). I could be wrong, though. The people I know who work in Chicago proper also live there, and likewise for the Chicago suburbs.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby amiller92 » May 19th, 2020, 8:57 am

I find it interesting the asseveration that Chicago's vibrancy comes from in part traffic congestion being so horrific that office workers are stuck after work buying overpriced food an beverages rather than being able to get home to their family in the suburbs.

Also, on my article on the changing retail scene there was a comment to the effect that the United States has way too much retail, something like 10 times that of Germany. I don't know but looking around at all the vacancies it seems to me there is indeed too muc. Although I get while the developers forced to put in ground level retail or else they wouldn't be allowed to build aren't inclined to subdivide it, I don't think that if they did there'd be anywhere close to enough cute local coffee shops or whatever to fill them.
Too many retail spots or too many sq of retail? With the exception of some large department stores, my sense is that German stores are a lot smaller, on average.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby QuietBlue » May 19th, 2020, 9:19 am

Putting this here so it doesn’t get lost in the busy general thread. Great read overall, lots of choice quotes from developers and politicians.

The Downtown Minneapolis vibrancy conundrum: http://tcbmag.com/news/articles/2020/ma ... -conundrum
Interesting read; thanks for posting that. A few thoughts I had after reading it:

-- Replicating the success of the North Loop is very unlikely, because the North Loop wouldn't have happened without the Warehouse District first, and that situation doesn't exist in the other areas described. The North Loop as we know it today is the end result of a process that began decades ago and is built on previous phases (i.e. empty spaces transitioning to an art scene/bohemia, followed by more entertainment options, etc).

-- I don't agree with Sherman about the condo construction liability laws being too strong. I've seen too much shoddy construction in both my former condo and my current apartment building to think those laws need to be weaker. Even if it did result in more construction in the short term, it would lead to problems in the long term.

-- I do think Sherman made a good point about there probably being more "house/apartment poor" people downtown than one might expect. Some people leverage themselves pretty hard to get the lifestyle they want, or think they need. It's not just a suburban thing; I think this is common everywhere. Obviously someone needs a certain amount of money to be able to afford an expensive place to begin with, but that doesn't always leave much left over.

-- I wonder how much the pandemic will affect demand for downtown living. I don't see a perception of unhealthiness being the issue, though. I think it's more that people who can afford to live downtown can usually work remotely, and with much of what makes downtown appealing unavailable or seriously curtailed, at what point does the bloom come off the rose? But I think that depends on how long this lasts.

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nBode
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby nBode » May 19th, 2020, 2:08 pm

Is "East Town" officially dead?

blo442
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby blo442 » May 19th, 2020, 3:12 pm

I find it interesting the asseveration that Chicago's vibrancy comes from in part traffic congestion being so horrific that office workers are stuck after work buying overpriced food an beverages rather than being able to get home to their family in the suburbs.

Also, on my article on the changing retail scene there was a comment to the effect that the United States has way too much retail, something like 10 times that of Germany. I don't know but looking around at all the vacancies it seems to me there is indeed too muc. Although I get while the developers forced to put in ground level retail or else they wouldn't be allowed to build aren't inclined to subdivide it, I don't think that if they did there'd be anywhere close to enough cute local coffee shops or whatever to fill them.
Yes, America has far too much retail, but does downtown have too much retail? The vast majority of America's retail space is suburban malls, big boxes, and strip malls. National retail doesn't locate downtown because the MOA and other regional malls already oversupply that niche. From an urbanist perspective, killing off some of that suburban mall space would be beneficial to promote more sustainable (environmentally and financially) commercial development in the core. Unfortunately, our balkanized city governments all want as much tax base within their own city limits as possible, so we get a never ending cycle of new greenfield retail that becomes blighted vacant stores. (Strong Towns has put out some really good material on this subject)

Record Machine
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Record Machine » May 26th, 2020, 2:12 pm

Is Nicollet Mall even worth the continued effort and investment? Even parts of Manhattan are sleepy after business hours. Maybe it's ok. There are so many other pockets of the city where people are naturally drawn to, I don't see that part of downtown ever being as dense as we might want it to be. Build up Washington, build up St Anthony Main, North Loop etc. This attempt to will Nicollet Mall into something more than it is feels like chasing a ghost.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby SurlyLHT » May 26th, 2020, 2:25 pm

I agree, retail is dying all over, COVID is accelerating it. There are better ways to invest in our Downtown

Multimodal
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Multimodal » June 2nd, 2020, 8:44 am

The Downtown Minneapolis vibrancy conundrum: http://tcbmag.com/news/articles/2020/ma ... -conundrum
Wow, so many great things in that article (and a few that don’t make sense).

1. Photo caption “Downtown East is another neighborhood with lots of new housing but little streetlife” as it shows the intersection of two very wide streets (at least one is also for transit). Not a fun place to walk or congregate. Compare that to the North Loop which, other than Washington Ave., has mostly smaller streets that eventually end in T-intersections rather than being wide through streets for cars. Think about that.

2. Great talk about smaller businesses. I didn’t know Mayor Frey was so concerned about it. It’s a good thing to worry about. A downtown filled with huge chain stores isn’t very different from a mall—little street vibrancy both because it pulls cars/motorists from a long way away (necessitating more car infrastructure than pedestrian), and it’s a long space to walk past without interacting or having a coffee shop or other gathering spot. It’s a dead zone.

3. Also great talk about San Francisco’s tax on unrented storefronts. Force rents down; force building owners/management to subdivide space.

Austinite
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Austinite » September 10th, 2020, 3:29 pm

Candyland closed off 8th and Marquette.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Silophant » September 25th, 2020, 8:06 pm

L'More Chocolat is moving from Wayzata to the old Espresso Royale space at 13th and Hennepin.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby alexschief » September 26th, 2020, 8:19 am

I joked about this on Twitter, but I have a serious comment, which is that one under-discussed advantage of minimum wage laws is that they may make it easier for businesses to attract and retain employees.

If you're a prospective employee, looking for work, working in Wayzata might mean less pay (only the state minimum wage) and more expenses (you can either pay the costs of living in Wayzata, or you can pay the costs of car ownership to get to Wayzata). You'd be less likely to even consider jobs there in the first place, and more likely to quit for a better opportunity somewhere else.

There is obviously a give-and-take with minimum wages, and a weakening economy changes the calculus somewhat, but the argument that they are all negative for businesses is not true.

Austinite
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Austinite » September 26th, 2020, 7:50 pm

L'More Chocolat is moving from Wayzata to the old Espresso Royale space at 13th and Hennepin.
Great news!! I was going to order chocolate from them once! These are the types of businesses that make coming downtown fun.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby MNdible » September 28th, 2020, 8:32 am

Re: minimum wage, most job postings that I've seen even for the most entry level of positions were well above the federal and even the state minimum wage (which will, it appear, edge north of $10/hr this January based on its inflation adjustment). The exception remains tipped jobs, where the employees could get paid a lower minimum wage knowing that they'd make up the difference (and in a good restaurant or bar, quite a bit more).

Mdcastle
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Mdcastle » October 9th, 2020, 7:42 am

If paying employees some arbitrary figure that is more than what their labor is worth made good business sense companies would be doing so without government making them.

Now if you're a poor person in say Hopkins rather than drive your $1000 car to Wayzata and park for free, now you have to pay to park it downtown instead. That's going to suck up a lot of your wage increase. Of course I guess there's the option of riding next to strangers in a poorly ventilated bus in the middle of a respiratory pandemic, a bus that runs and stops on it's schedule, not yours...

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby NickP » October 9th, 2020, 8:35 am

I guess I would respond to that by saying I think everyone is worth being able to live.

Austinite
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Austinite » October 9th, 2020, 10:14 am

If paying employees some arbitrary figure that is more than what their labor is worth made good business sense companies would be doing so without government making them.

Now if you're a poor person in say Hopkins rather than drive your $1000 car to Wayzata and park for free, now you have to pay to park it downtown instead. That's going to suck up a lot of your wage increase. Of course I guess there's the option of riding next to strangers in a poorly ventilated bus in the middle of a respiratory pandemic, a bus that runs and stops on it's schedule, not yours...
I would argue against the statement what their labor is worth, but again, some of these jobs aren't or were never meant to be long-time jobs/careers, i.e. coffee baristas, retail cashiers, etc. They were designed to be for for teenagers, etc., or part-time positions to supplement one's income. That why I kinda don't understand the push for unions for coffee shop workers. I am all for treating employees fairly, but a union seems pretty extreme.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby LakeCharles » October 9th, 2020, 11:27 am

[...] some of these jobs aren't or were never meant to be long-time jobs/careers, i.e. coffee baristas, retail cashiers, etc. They were designed to be for for teenagers, etc., or part-time positions to supplement one's income. That why I kinda don't understand the push for unions for coffee shop workers. I am all for treating employees fairly, but a union seems pretty extreme.
It doesn't really matter what they were "designed" to be for, because they aren't that, and haven't been for a long time. Most coffee shop workers are now supporting themselves (and a family) on one or more jobs. If they want to be able to negotiate to improve their experience, good on them.

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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Tcmetro » October 9th, 2020, 1:24 pm

Few points I want to make:

Probably a reason this chocolate shop is moving downtown. Likely because more people will shop there.

If you live in Hopkins and are driving a $1000 car you're probably paying for a lot of repairs every year. The first car I bought was only slightly more than your figure and I probably spent twice on it in repairs in two years, not to mention having to ride the bus when it broke down.

Both Wayzata and Downtown Minneapolis should have affordable housing for workers. It's not sustainable to expect low wage workers to have insane commutes. High paid downtown workers don't have to worry about where they live because the past fifty years of public transportation investment in the Twin Cities has been based around shuttling professionals from Garage Mahals in every interchange armpit to the big shiny towers. The park and ride system is extremely overbuilt and is only at 50% capacity. Local bus services have been long neglected and have had to fight to get even a reasonable portion of the funding.

Someone living in Hopkins and working downtown (service job or not) will soon be able to ride light rail. Which operates frequently and has the same travel time all day.


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