Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Parks, Minneapolis Public Schools, Density, Zoning, etc.
alexschief
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby alexschief » January 28th, 2021, 10:13 am

It's a bit funny to hear so many items out of the 70's-90's Civic Booster Playbook. Gotta bring the suburbanites to downtown for an evening! Cheap parking! Parades! Festivals! Meanwhile, residential and office construction in downtown Minneapolis is at a multi-decade high.

Everyone loves more events downtown, and I have total faith that they will resume after the pandemic. But don't mistake them for the economic fundamentals of the area, which are stronger than they have been in a long time. More people now live downtown than has been the case in a long time, and that's only set to increase. The office population of downtown has been reduced by the pandemic, but so has the office population everywhere, including suburban office parks. There is, as of yet, no serious evidence of an urban exodus of residences or jobs in cities like Minneapolis, despite the premature predictions of some folks last spring.

A hard lesson cities should have learned last century, and should continue learning today, is that they have limited ability to grow their economies by pursuing "pro-business" policies. They should focus instead on making life better for their citizens, and at least from my perspective, Minneapolis seems to be well on that track.

Blaisdell Greenway
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby Blaisdell Greenway » January 28th, 2021, 10:59 am

One of the best things in Chicago is called SummerDance. Four nights a week they teach you the dance and then have live music for the rest of the evening. Like, ranging from hip hop, square dancing, klezmer, and so on. More of that kind of programming, pls!

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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby grant1simons2 » January 28th, 2021, 11:41 am

My hope for downtown is that more streets start closing, converted to two ways, or get planters as lane closures. Kind of annoying that this whole year nothing has been done on our streets downtown to change the behavior when things return back to normal! Meanwhile, I cross 4 lane roads at 7pm without even really needing to look lol. East-West pedestrian experience when??

Austinite
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby Austinite » January 28th, 2021, 12:01 pm

It's a bit funny to hear so many items out of the 70's-90's Civic Booster Playbook. Gotta bring the suburbanites to downtown for an evening! Cheap parking! Parades! Festivals! Meanwhile, residential and office construction in downtown Minneapolis is at a multi-decade high.

Everyone loves more events downtown, and I have total faith that they will resume after the pandemic. But don't mistake them for the economic fundamentals of the area, which are stronger than they have been in a long time. More people now live downtown than has been the case in a long time, and that's only set to increase. The office population of downtown has been reduced by the pandemic, but so has the office population everywhere, including suburban office parks. There is, as of yet, no serious evidence of an urban exodus of residences or jobs in cities like Minneapolis, despite the premature predictions of some folks last spring.

A hard lesson cities should have learned last century, and should continue learning today, is that they have limited ability to grow their economies by pursuing "pro-business" policies. They should focus instead on making life better for their citizens, and at least from my perspective, Minneapolis seems to be well on that track.
Throughout the city's history - they've done away with things, only to think they are a good idea later (look at all the buildings that were torn down over the years, i.e. the Gateway, the Nicollet Hotel, etc. Look at what's going up now - buildings with largely the same uses. New hotel, new housing, etc. Look at all the city plans over the last few decades - i.e. Nicollet Mall - largely same ideas, different streetscape materials. Kinda why I get so upset with the city spending a lot of money and time developing new plans/updating existing plans - because the outcome is the same.

As for pro-business policies - would help a lot to get rid of all the red tape for businesses, and lower taxes. I live in Texas that is very pro-business and it's economy, despite the pandemic, is doing great. Austin's downtown proper doesn't have half the number of people living downtown, and I don't think it has the amenities Mpls has - lots of open green space etc. I am all for density, and increasing a city's population, but I don't get why people keep saying more people mean a better city. Also - Mpls isn't only for people who want to live in the city. Really need to stop with the us/vs them (suburbanites). The people currently living in Mpls. obviously aren't helping the economic situation. Sorry - gripping and am a native Minnesota/resident of Mpls.

alexschief
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby alexschief » January 28th, 2021, 12:40 pm

It's a bit funny to hear so many items out of the 70's-90's Civic Booster Playbook. Gotta bring the suburbanites to downtown for an evening! Cheap parking! Parades! Festivals! Meanwhile, residential and office construction in downtown Minneapolis is at a multi-decade high.

Everyone loves more events downtown, and I have total faith that they will resume after the pandemic. But don't mistake them for the economic fundamentals of the area, which are stronger than they have been in a long time. More people now live downtown than has been the case in a long time, and that's only set to increase. The office population of downtown has been reduced by the pandemic, but so has the office population everywhere, including suburban office parks. There is, as of yet, no serious evidence of an urban exodus of residences or jobs in cities like Minneapolis, despite the premature predictions of some folks last spring.

A hard lesson cities should have learned last century, and should continue learning today, is that they have limited ability to grow their economies by pursuing "pro-business" policies. They should focus instead on making life better for their citizens, and at least from my perspective, Minneapolis seems to be well on that track.
As for pro-business policies - would help a lot to get rid of all the red tape for businesses, and lower taxes. I live in Texas that is very pro-business and it's economy, despite the pandemic, is doing great. Austin's downtown proper doesn't have half the number of people living downtown, and I don't think it has the amenities Mpls has - lots of open green space etc. I am all for density, and increasing a city's population, but I don't get why people keep saying more people mean a better city. Also - Mpls isn't only for people who want to live in the city. Really need to stop with the us/vs them (suburbanites). The people currently living in Mpls. obviously aren't helping the economic situation. Sorry - gripping and am a native Minnesota/resident of Mpls.
This is a not as convincing as it may seem from the perspective of just comparing two cities. Yes, low-tax Texas cities like Austin are booming. But so are high-tax cities like Seattle. Yes, high-tax cities like Chicago are losing population or growing slowly, but so are low-tax cities like Memphis.

If you compare the MSP metro to its regional peers, only Indianapolis and Columbus exceed it in % population growth, and it leads the region in raw population growth. It is also far wealthier than its comparisons. MSP has a strong economy that doesn't need gimmicks to survive. Is there room to improve? Are there levers to press that might improve its performance? I'm sure there are, but it's nearly impossible to predict ahead of time what those are.

This is a hard lesson to learn, but there is really no significant correlation between whatever measure you can come up with of the "business-friendliness" of a metro area and the strength of their economy. Similarly, pursuing big festivals and events isn't an especially good comeback strategy for downtown Minneapolis. Focus on the fundamentals of being a good place to live and work for its own sake.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby VacantLuxuries » January 28th, 2021, 1:12 pm

Minneapolis may not only be for the people who live in Minneapolis, but it should be built to serve the people who live there. Those are the people who are investing with their property taxes, school taxes, and most of their sales taxes. The parking that is disappearing in Minneapolis was created in order to try and accomplish exactly what you're saying it'll do - it didn't. The land used to serve that need was underutilized property tax potential and everything we do to prioritize moving and storing cars helps make the city a more hostile place for the people who live there.

The rebound will be driven by the needs of new residents and office workers, and will probably be less flashy than what we've considered 'successful' downtown in the past. Things like the new DGX come to mind. This is fine. Making it possible for someone to meet all their neighborhood needs in our core city should be way more important than trying to get another Marshalls or fitting some kind of suburban need into the city.

Right now we're building a lot of free parking for Minneapolis. It's the overbuilt park-and-rides for the Green Line. If you want to visit Minneapolis and not pay for parking, there are ways to do it.

The reason more people improve a city is there's more justification to open stores where people live. The whole 70s-80s idea of "If we turn downtown into a mall, people will come here instead of the suburbs" was wrong at the time and wrong now. The restaurant/retail offerings in downtown will improve as more dedicated customers exist in the area who, like their suburban counterparts, won't want to bother driving out of the city to get what they need. Free parking or not.

Finally, it's not something I particularly care about, but a 40 story development is going to put more taxes into the city's budget than the same number of single family homes would with the same land, and will generate far more local spending. Bringing more people in helps lower (or prevent the raising of) taxes.

For a deeper look at this (and from a conservative perspective to boot) you might consider reading
The Next American City: The Big Promise of Our Midsize Metros by Mick Cornett, the former mayor of Oklahoma City.
Last edited by VacantLuxuries on January 28th, 2021, 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SurlyLHT
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby SurlyLHT » January 28th, 2021, 1:15 pm

It's a bit funny to hear so many items out of the 70's-90's Civic Booster Playbook. Gotta bring the suburbanites to downtown for an evening! Cheap parking! Parades! Festivals! Meanwhile, residential and office construction in downtown Minneapolis is at a multi-decade high.

Everyone loves more events downtown, and I have total faith that they will resume after the pandemic. But don't mistake them for the economic fundamentals of the area, which are stronger than they have been in a long time. More people now live downtown than has been the case in a long time, and that's only set to increase. The office population of downtown has been reduced by the pandemic, but so has the office population everywhere, including suburban office parks. There is, as of yet, no serious evidence of an urban exodus of residences or jobs in cities like Minneapolis, despite the premature predictions of some folks last spring.

A hard lesson cities should have learned last century, and should continue learning today, is that they have limited ability to grow their economies by pursuing "pro-business" policies. They should focus instead on making life better for their citizens, and at least from my perspective, Minneapolis seems to be well on that track.
As for pro-business policies - would help a lot to get rid of all the red tape for businesses, and lower taxes. I live in Texas that is very pro-business and it's economy, despite the pandemic, is doing great. Austin's downtown proper doesn't have half the number of people living downtown, and I don't think it has the amenities Mpls has - lots of open green space etc. I am all for density, and increasing a city's population, but I don't get why people keep saying more people mean a better city. Also - Mpls isn't only for people who want to live in the city. Really need to stop with the us/vs them (suburbanites). The people currently living in Mpls. obviously aren't helping the economic situation. Sorry - gripping and am a native Minnesota/resident of Mpls.
This is a not as convincing as it may seem from the perspective of just comparing two cities. Yes, low-tax Texas cities like Austin are booming. But so are high-tax cities like Seattle. Yes, high-tax cities like Chicago are losing population or growing slowly, but so are low-tax cities like Memphis.

If you compare the MSP metro to its regional peers, only Indianapolis and Columbus exceed it in % population growth, and it leads the region in raw population growth. It is also far wealthier than its comparisons. MSP has a strong economy that doesn't need gimmicks to survive. Is there room to improve? Are there levers to press that might improve its performance? I'm sure there are, but it's nearly impossible to predict ahead of time what those are.

This is a hard lesson to learn, but there is really no significant correlation between whatever measure you can come up with of the "business-friendliness" of a metro area and the strength of their economy. Similarly, pursuing big festivals and events isn't an especially good comeback strategy for downtown Minneapolis. Focus on the fundamentals of being a good place to live and work for its own sake.
I agree Mpls shouldn't pander to businesses, but at the same time they shouldn't obstruct or create needless barriers for the business community. Especially for small businesses. (Look at the disaster that has occurred with removing debris from riot destroyed businesses)

Related, I would like to see the Charter Amendment pass which proposes reorganizing the city government so agencies are confused who is in charge...the Council or Mayor?

Brenns
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby Brenns » January 28th, 2021, 1:39 pm

It's a bit funny to hear so many items out of the 70's-90's Civic Booster Playbook. Gotta bring the suburbanites to downtown for an evening! Cheap parking! Parades! Festivals! Meanwhile, residential and office construction in downtown Minneapolis is at a multi-decade high.
Agreed - how many times does this game plan need to fail before we learn our lesson?
When a community contrives an event or attraction not for its citizens and their traditions/history/interests, but to draw out-of-towners to some abstract idea of what they think the city is, it loses all meaning and is doomed to fail as soon as the newness wears off. You see it in places like the Baltimore Inner Harbor project, which created a sanitized and Disney-fied "Baltimore-themed" neighborhood that held no lasting appeal for residents, and now that it's a little old and tarnished tourists couldn't care less.

uptownbro
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby uptownbro » January 28th, 2021, 2:08 pm

Its clearly a mix. You need a place that residents want to live/spend money as well as draw others from outside of the city. I think festivals are actually a good thing to bring in people without having to change the city as a whole. I think of pride fest as a great example here. I have friends who drove from WI to come and take part. You had a mix of people from the burbs, out of state and city residents all downtown spending money.
The city cant make something a "cool" place imo. The clearest example is Nicollet mall vs the north loop. The city shouldnt sell out to business but also it should make it hard to do business in the city as well. Alot of business are trying to leave the bay area due to the cost of business there but that doesnt mean they are all rushing to birmingham.

alexschief
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby alexschief » January 28th, 2021, 2:46 pm

The most popular tourist cities in the world, New York City, London, Paris, Tokyo, etc. all have their share of events and attractions. But people go all year round just to be in the thick of them. The number one attractor of people is other people. If you want to attract visitors to downtown Minneapolis, think about what attracts residents and office workers to downtown Minneapolis, because they are the exact same thing.

amiller92
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby amiller92 » January 29th, 2021, 1:15 pm

You need a place that residents want to live/spend money as well as draw others from outside of the city.
What if they are the same things, though? Like neighborhoods with vibrant streets, shops and places to eat? The kind of neighborhood you'd like to visit for an evening or a festival?

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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby David Greene » January 29th, 2021, 7:53 pm


I concur. We've set such a terrible precident in this region by building suburban focused rail lines, and pushing the city to abandon the one rail project we've come up with to solely serve the densest and transit-using areas in Minneapolis isn't a great look IMO.
One rail project? Midtown LRT is arguably the stronger line for utility and equity. I'd like to see money out into that before a Nicollet streetcar.

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SurlyLHT
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby SurlyLHT » February 3rd, 2021, 4:03 pm

Would there be any benefit for Mpls claiming Theodore Wirth park as it's own and placing it within city boundaries?

Hero
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby Hero » February 17th, 2021, 11:21 pm

Don't forget part of Victory memorial drive. That is also city owned property just outside the boarders. I've thought it would be good to annex these parks if only to boost our parkscore a bit. But maybe those neighboring cities pay for those parks in their borders?

SurlyLHT
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby SurlyLHT » February 18th, 2021, 11:23 am

Don't forget part of Victory memorial drive. That is also city owned property just outside the boarders. I've thought it would be good to annex these parks if only to boost our parkscore a bit. But maybe those neighboring cities pay for those parks in their borders?
The impression I get is that since the Park Board is separate from the City, they don't care? Some of the land like this park which goes from 26th to Golden Valley Road it seems at least part of the park west of Xerxes should be turned over to Golden Valley. It's a grassy area which doesn't even border the city.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Valle ... 93.3198438

Hero
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby Hero » February 20th, 2021, 2:45 am

This looks like it should have a trail in it connecting Theodore Wirth to the parkway. Maybe the railroad ROW doesn't allow a connection?

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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby Hero » April 19th, 2021, 10:29 pm

I hope Minneapolis applies for some of the new RAISE grants. Does the city have anything in the planning process they could submit?

alexschief
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby alexschief » April 20th, 2021, 12:49 pm

The proposed Midtown and Great Northern Greenway river crossings would be obvious candidates.

Silophant
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby Silophant » April 20th, 2021, 1:12 pm

I've been told that part of the reason the Nicollet Streetcar has never been quite killed is so the city could have something shovel-ready in case Infrastructure Week ever happened.

uptownbro
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Re: Ideas / Wish List for Mpls in 2021

Postby uptownbro » April 20th, 2021, 1:22 pm

I wonder how that works with bidens infrastructure plan


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