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      WARNING!   07/26/16

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asthasr

Learning from Other Places

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I’m in Minneapolis. Awesome transit and bike trails. Pretty older buildings. Blank walls, blank walls and more blank walls, lobby’s and parking garages.  Stayed near the stadium, Walked 3rd to Marquette or wherever Wells Fargo is. Not a single place to eat except an Arby’s. Walked back along the green/blue  line. I saw a chipotle’s. 

 

I googled target in downtown. But my walk around downtown (which was the heart of downtown,  tall US Bank Tower and the y’all Wells Fargo building yielded maybe 5 places that weren’t a blank wall or deck (Arby’s, Chipotles, Gourmet Burger place, Bail bonds and a bank branch) 

very pretty and great ped. And bike assets. 

 

But Charlotte feels more inviting and lively (but maybe it is because it’s smaller so you’re not walking miles of nothingness and it’s obvious. 

 

Im not being critical as much as I am the  criticism of Charlotte being lobbies and blank walls compared to these urban utopias is so overblown. 

 

But it it is pretty to walk around these historic buildings I guess 

 

that said. I like the city a lot.

Edited by AirNostrumMAD
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^ The Zen Box on Washington (about a block from the Aloft) is pretty good. Go another block to gold medal park, its worth it.

have a good time

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Was in France recently, this is the correct way to implement a tram in the street.  Dedicated space no stopping in traffic.  And this is one of the more economically poor cities in that country.

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, AirNostrumMAD said:

I’m in Minneapolis. Awesome transit and bike trails. Pretty older buildings. Blank walls, blank walls and more blank walls, lobby’s and parking garages.  Stayed near the stadium, Walked 3rd to Marquette or wherever Wells Fargo is. Not a single place to eat except an Arby’s. Walked back along the green/blue  line. I saw a chipotle’s. 

 

I googled target in downtown. But my walk around downtown (which was the heart of downtown,  tall US Bank Tower and the y’all Wells Fargo building yielded maybe 5 places that weren’t a blank wall or deck (Arby’s, Chipotles, Gourmet Burger place, Bail bonds and a bank branch) 

very pretty and great ped. And bike assets. 

 

But Charlotte feels more inviting and lively (but maybe it is because it’s smaller so you’re not walking miles of nothingness and it’s obvious. 

 

Im not being critical as much as I am the  criticism of Charlotte being lobbies and blank walls compared to these urban utopias is so overblown. 

 

But it it is pretty to walk around these historic buildings I guess 

 

that said. I like the city a lot.

Minneapolis is all about the Skyway. The city is freezing cold. Nobody wants to go for a stroll when it is 15 degrees outside. Outside of special events, Minneapolis doesn't have that bustling of a street life, especially from late fall to early spring, and when I'm there on the weekends it is pretty dead.  It is a pretty clean city, educated, and has a good economy, but I've never personally been that impressed. 

Here's a good article of locals discussing the issues with the Skyways. There is even a "Skyway Avoidance Society" trying to get people to not use them to revitalize downtown Minneapolis retail. 

http://mspmag.com/shop-and-style/don’t-avoid-the-skyway-issue/

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Edited by CLT2014
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I just returned from 6 days in Bordeaux, the most beautiful city in France imo, and their tram is superb. No wires, uses power from under the rails with a ground level power source that is active as the tram car passes above it. Small issue was it would not take any of our four cards for payment once, and only one card of four two other times but pocket change saved the day. The soil in Bordeaux makes subways impossible so on grade works for them.

Huge pedestrianised area throughout town, quiet clean buses, about the most civilized and comfortable city to walk through I can imagine. My favorite in France. Population about 250,000 city proper and 750,000 with suburban areas so smaller than Charlotte, yet also larger compared to population of France than Charlotte is compared to population of U. S.

Also the 200mph TGV train to Paris is Ooo-la-la.

France does these huge major public works projects well.

1 hour ago, cha said:

Was in France recently, this is the correct way to implement a tram in the street.  Dedicated space no stopping in traffic.  And this is one of the more economically poor cities in that country.

 

 

 

IMG_1572.jpg

IMG_1580.jpg

 

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4 hours ago, CLT2014 said:

Minneapolis is all about the Skyway. The city is freezing cold. Nobody wants to go for a stroll when it is 15 degrees outside. Outside of special events, Minneapolis doesn't have that bustling of a street life, especially from late fall to early spring, and when I'm there on the weekends it is pretty dead.  It is a pretty clean city, educated, and has a good economy, but I've never personally been that impressed. 

Here's a good article of locals discussing the issues with the Skyways. There is even a "Skyway Avoidance Society" trying to get people to not use them to revitalize downtown Minneapolis retail. 

http://mspmag.com/shop-and-style/don’t-avoid-the-skyway-issue/

 

 

I'm pretty familiar with Minneapolis, Charlotte as well as a long list of others.  Downtown Minneapolis is far more active than Uptown Charlotte and many other downtown areas.    While I'm not a fan of the skyway system, many visitors are, especially during Jan & Feb when it's actually freezing cold and then during the late summer months when it's hot and humid.  As far as bustling street life,  98% of US downtown areas  are nowhere near bustling so,  when you state you are not impressed with downtown MPLS, what cities do you have in mind? Yes, there are special events - almost every night.  There are sporting events (NFL, MLB, NBA, & WNBA), concerts, and theaters that draw  hundreds of thousands throughout the year.   Then there are the establishments along Hennepin and Washington that are a constant draw.  Not many downtown areas can consistently draw this many people.

Regarding retail, it's coming back.  Nordstom Rack just opened in the IDS Tower and there is speculation that a well-known retailer will be opening in the  short-lived Sports Authority space in City Center.   Also, it was just announced that the former Macy's building will be turned into a mix of office and "high end" retail -- announcements could be within weeks.

BTW, interesting choice of photos for your narrative.  7th Street (1st photo) and 2nd Ave (2nd photo) are not exactly representative of downtown MPLS.  The first photo is the intersection of 7th and Nicollet Mall, which was completely shut down when you took your photo.  Since then, Nordstrom Rack has opened in the IDS (upper right) and parts of Nicollet Mall have reopened so the foot traffic is coming back.  Your second photo is wall of offices, most of which are government and banking operations;  a very 9 - 5 area -- an area that all major downtown areas have.

Edited by Twin Citian
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4 hours ago, go_vertical said:

The untrained eye would swear that first picture was Charlotte. Thankfully we have noticeably more foot traffic.

Actually,  nowhere in Uptown Charlotte has as much foot traffic as this area normally does.  Nicollet Mall, which you can see is fenced off, has been closed since 2015 and has been a deadzone.  Also, seeing the lack of cars parked along 7th has me questioning the day and time the photo was taken.  

Edited by Twin Citian

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12 hours ago, ah59396 said:

YEAH @CLT2014.

Defend yourself against this Minnesotan person!

Skyway season has kicked off in Siberia. But really, I just agree to disagree. I think Minneapolis is overrated from a downtown standpoint and agree with the other poster who mentioned blank walls.  I'm not saying Charlotte is better, I just think Minneapolis is in a similar position to cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston, etc... that are trying to make their downtown more vibrant, as opposed to cities that have really strong downtowns (Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, etc....) Often times people talk about Minneapolis like it belongs in the bucket with places like San Francisco rather than cities that still have a lot of work to do. The reality is its peers are probably Nashville and Austin - cities where the downtown has a leg up on Houston or Dallas, but still far behind the top tier of downtowns in the country.  

Charlotte:

image.png.d2a975931c2e30a0ce6e09b1f20fb2a4.png

Minneapolis:

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Edited by CLT2014
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16 hours ago, Twin Citian said:

Actually,  nowhere in Uptown Charlotte has as much foot traffic as this area normally does.  Nicollet Mall, which you can see is fenced off, has been closed since 2015 and has been a deadzone.  Also, seeing the lack of cars parked along 7th has me questioning the day and time the photo was taken.  

I walked all around downtown Minneapolis between 12pm-4pm and it was dead on a 60F or so sunny day on Wednesday. It felt much less busy than uptown. 

 

The greenway system throughout the neighborhoods around downtown and near the Saint So & So university is sooooo beautiful and awesome.

 

Minneapolis is great. It’s just, we are critical of uptown retail here and my expectations of Minneapolis was yuge for retail, stores, no blank walls, etc,

if it makes you feel better, Minneapolis exceeded my high expectations of cleanliness and ped infrastructure 

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9 hours ago, CLT2014 said:

Skyway season has kicked off in Siberia. But really, I just agree to disagree. I think Minneapolis is overrated from a downtown standpoint and agree with the other poster who mentioned blank walls.  I'm not saying Charlotte is better, I just think Minneapolis is in a similar position to cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston, etc... that are trying to make their downtown more vibrant, as opposed to cities that have really strong downtowns (Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, etc....) Often times people talk about Minneapolis like it belongs in the bucket with places like San Francisco rather than cities that still have a lot of work to do. The reality is its peers are probably Nashville and Austin - cities where the downtown has a leg up on Houston or Dallas, but still far behind the top tier of downtowns in the country.  

I agree cities like Boston, San Francisco and Seattle have stronger downtown areas than Minneapolis and they should -- they are big tourist towns.  However, even downtown Seattle and San Francisco where I occasionally work have dead zones that are not welcoming at all.   Downtown MPLS falls between Seattle and the likes of Austin and Nashville,  but  it still offers quite a bit more than the latter two in terms of amenities, connectivity, etc...  There are also a lot more people living within a 1 mile radius of downtown MPLS's core (CBD) than there are near Austin's and Nashville's (2010 Census: 32,678 vs 18,086 and 6,147)  so that's an obvious a benefit.

Not sure where you're going with the weather angle, but Minneapolis, Boston, Seattle, and a number of other cities have sh*ttier weather than Charlotte and well, they are way ahead of Charlotte in a number of areas.  

Edited by Twin Citian

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5 hours ago, AirNostrumMAD said:

I walked all around downtown Minneapolis between 12pm-4pm and it was dead on a 60F or so sunny day on Wednesday. It felt much less busy than uptown. 

Downtown MPLS is over 3 sq miles so if you're walking in certain areas like downtown east (US Bank Stadium , HCMC, government area) or downtown west (the central business district) at certain times, it will seem dead.  

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What can we learn from Hong Kong? I guess density but I am not sure I want this much.  Check out my photos from my trip and I will be adding more in the days to come from this city that has more high rises than any city on earth and that earth includes NYC.    And their public transportation older style trams, subways, double decker buses provide a very efficient transportation system.   Wish Charlotte would have some double decker buses on highly used routes.  

 

Edited by KJHburg
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Here are some photos of density in Hong Kong where more people live in high rises than any other city on earth.   One thing I observed there is they have a huge bus system usually double decker buses to supplement their subway MTR lines.  Buses and high frequency ones need to be a part of the solution in Charlotte like Bus Rapid transit.   Anyway here are a couple of density shots. All these shots would be considered "suburban" areas outside of the central HK business district.   First 2 are from east end of HK island and the ones from the plane are Kowloon and north. 

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Edited by KJHburg
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I just had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Portland and may I say, I was stunned by the amount of restaurants, small businesses and just general street activity, when compared to Charlotte.

I’m not sure what Charlotte can do to encourage growth in the small business sector, specifically in regards to retail,  but it was staggering to see just how far ahead of Portland is than Charlotte.  Especially given their relatively similar sizes.

Even tertiary arteries in Portland managed to make NoDa and P-Midwood look like sleepy intersections by comparison.  I’d always heard the hype surrounding Portland, it is definitely warranted.  I’d kill for Charlotte to have one Hawthorne/Division/Alberta/Mississippi street.

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If we added retail on the bottom in most buildings in South End, It would be much more livley. For example, Add an H&M , Sephora, Urban Outfitter and throw in some local businesses and dining options then it would be Jam Packed. I don’t know why Charlotte doesn’t follow this as other cities smaller and larger then Charlotte have streets like this. Just my two cents.

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10 hours ago, ah59396 said:

I just had the opportunity to spend a weekend in Portland and may I say, I was stunned by the amount of restaurants, small businesses and just general street activity, when compared to Charlotte.

I’m not sure what Charlotte can do to encourage growth in the small business sector, specifically in regards to retail,  but it was staggering to see just how far ahead of Portland is than Charlotte.  Especially given their relatively similar sizes.

Even tertiary arteries in Portland managed to make NoDa and P-Midwood look like sleepy intersections by comparison.  I’d always heard the hype surrounding Portland, it is definitely warranted.  I’d kill for Charlotte to have one Hawthorne/Division/Alberta/Mississippi street.

Alberta Street is awesome.  Tiny House Hotel, Community Cycling Center, and Salt & Straw are just a few of the gems on this bike/ped friendly street.

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I thought I had written about this place before, but I can't find it. Perhaps I did so elsewhere. Anyway, I thought I'd share a modern shopping arcade in Japan. This one is in Sendai, a city of comparable size to Charlotte (about one million people), in the north of Japan.

ichibancho-shopping-mall-pic001.jpg

I recommend taking a look around in street view.

In terms of "content," this is about the same as Northlake or Carolina Place, but the mere fact that it's outdoors (roof notwithstanding) and downtown gives it a dense, upscale feeling.

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35 minutes ago, tarhoosier said:

Lotta roman letters there

Yes, they have international brands, and even international Asian brands usually use the Latin alphabet because nothing else is universal. Korea has Hangul, Japan has Katakana and Hiragana, China and Taiwan have no syllabic characters, and Vietnam uses Latin characters anyway. Thus you'll see things like LOTTE Mart, AEON MALL, Big C, and so on.

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Here is a new development in Wilmington that is using shipping containers to build offices, apartments etc.  I will take some photos of my next visit. 

We selected 6 #shippingcontainers today for our "Live + Work" units! 12 more to go! Watch this #video to see more: https://youtu.be/j_D5zUhXZkw  #cargotecture #wilmimgtonnc #ilm #design #architecture #forklift #wilmingtonnc #ilm #nc

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