MrSmith

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About MrSmith

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    Whistle-Stop
  1. MrSmith

    St. Paul Development

    Frankly, I don't know if anything will help downtown Saint Paul. They need to identify a niche and fill it...instead of simply trying to pretend they are a viable downtown. Unfortunately, their strategy has been to take things from Minneapolis or offer big tax breaks to get development. They need to find a sector that is not being served in the Twin Cities. For example, they could really play up the historic aspects of the city to attract tourism. In doing so, they should require only certain types of historic looking development in certain parts of town. Sometimes you'll find the best success when you stop competeing and instead embrace what you already have. It would be such a nice contrast to Minneapolis and could attract quite a lot of tourism if done well.
  2. MrSmith

    St. Paul Development

    Not everyone thinks highrises are great and in fact they are more expensive to build per square foot than low rises. America has an obsession with big!. Many of the best cities in the World -- Paris, London, Rome are so impressive because they don't have highrises.
  3. MrSmith

    St. Paul Development

    The real issue in covering highways has to do with exhaust, drainage and fire danger. It would be simple enough to put a top over the sunken portion of a highway, but it would not be safe --just look at how filthy the lowry tunnel gets --and trucks are not even allowed in it.
  4. MrSmith

    Twin Cities Transit

    Opponents of the LRT worked hard to derail the project --as a result the size of the trains and platforms were reduced to save money. However, ridership of the Minneapolis LRT has way exceeded expectations, which also explains your wait. I take it in the middle of the day and on weekends and it is always crowded.
  5. MrSmith

    Minneapolis Development

    1010 has not gotten city approval yet. I would guess the sales office won't open until at least Spring 2006 and then figure another 9-12 months before they reach 50% sold --which is generally when construction start. Although, I hear they will build in 3 or 4 phases so maybe they will only sell one building at a time. Personally, I think a public interior courtyard between the buildings is a mistake. There are some crime/drug dealing issues with other properties on that block (which will remain) and in the neighborhood in general. I think it would be better to create more ped. traffic on the street.
  6. MrSmith

    Minneapolis Development

    I think the problem with the developments downtown Minneapolis are twofold 1. They are building the projects too tall on the fringes, while ignoring parking lots and other land in the core which is more suitable for tall buildings (of couse this land is more $$). 2. The developers ignore the history of an area and are not alwas honest. They sell the neighbors and then the plan morphs from 20 stories to 25 to 40. The promised retail dissappears and design tweaking sometimes creates an entirely different project. As for the person that said "saftey and traffic is going to increase and the environment will be the big loser"...that is plain crazy. People who live downtown own fewer cars and walk more than those that live in the burbs. Environmentally a highly dense urban area is preferrable to suburban sprawl. And, many of the new buildings are using green roofs and other environmental designs. Additionally, when you increase the number of residents living downtown, you will have a more stable population which will increase safety. When the other person said people in Minneapolis are "Weird" I sorta agree (and i was born here). They want to be a cool, fun, livable city with great parks and transportation, but they don't want any of the change to occur near them. Reminds me of a meeting I went to when the Boulevard theater was closing in SW minneapolis-- the neighbors were angry at the business owners (who were lossing money) for closing their treasured neighborhood Icon. A check of history shows that just 50 years earlier the same neighborhood fought the development of the theater expressing parking concerns etc. In minneapolis change is often seen as bad --even when it is good.