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nickmgray

What would you do with Minneapolis Surface parking

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Ok, last time I checked I counted 4 entire blocks in the downtown area that are completely used for surface parking and another 8 that are 50% or more surface parking. To me this is a great opportunity to fill the gaps and make the entire downtown area feel like it's one unit.

The real question is, what should go on these blocks. We know there's not going to be any office towers built for quite some time, but can we use that many more condo projects? Maybe some downtown retail, a large grocery store that you can walk to?

Any idea anyone?

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I'm not that familiar with Minneapolis, but is there a large city park in or near downtown? If not, turn one of those lots into a park, maybe an outdoor skating rink in the winter like in rockafeller center, new york.

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that sounds like a great idea! We're in Minnesota and the only downtown skating rink is located indooors.

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Based on where the parking lots are located (mostly East of downtown), I don't think a park is the best use. Besides there is always the Mississippi River Park area to the North and Loring Park to the South. We also have both an indoor Ice rink in our old train depot and an outdoor ice rink at Peavy plaza.

I guess my preference would be to get some office buildings to fill those parking lots --with retail on the first floor.

While were at it, I think all new parking ramps should be required to have retail on the first floor.

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that sounds like a great idea! We're in Minnesota and the only downtown skating rink is located indooors.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Peavy plaza has an ice rink --or at leat it used to. it is the perfect place to skate --and it is right outside orchestra hall -- so they played clasiical music.

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retail. I imagine that if this condo boom is legitimate, retailers will follow soon. Simple amenities like a full scale grocery store would be useful not only to mill city condo dwellers, but west bank University students, as well. Simple retail like what you'd find in any strip mall in plymouth. if you want an office tower on the top, well sure, whatever floats your boat.

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From my apartment window I see a surface parking lot on the Northeast corner of 11th St. and Hennepin Ave that could have a much better use than is currently in place. A FULL BLOCK plaza would be great, it would have been good to have put one where Block E is now, but the only downtown "plazas/parks" are Peavy Plaza (and the connecting Greenway to Loring Park), Cancer Survivors Park, the green space above the underground parking ramp in front of the convention center, the plaza north of the government center and green space south of it, and I guess you could add in the sculpted mounds in front of the court house along with the Gateway area where Nicollet and Hennepin once met. There are a few more small green spaces in and around the city but not much more to talk about. Some might argue that Nicollet Mall is a stretched out plaza of sorts, though that is as close as we get to having something on the larger end of the scale.

Let me preface this first. The following parks and green spaces are all great, although, they lack being in the core of downtown. Yes, Loring Park is on the southern edge of downtown, but it is definitely not centrally located. With the Mississippi River and surrounding park to the north of downtown that also is not really that close to the core. Elliot Park's Park is also not really in the core either.

Peavy is great, don't get me wrong. We need a plaza that is a FULL BLOCK and functional, something that stands out and will say: "Minneapolis is a city that does have green meeting places and is not just a sea of rolling asphalt." Whether or not the plaza is grass or stone, etc. it could be made to accommodate an ice rink, though that would not totally be necessary.

The proposed park east of the new Guthrie would not be a terrible amenity to add to our fair city (it is still on the edge of downtown along the Mississippi River). <_<

Being surrounded by parks is not such a bad thing after all. :D

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Downtown does need a real park, like the 2 parks it used to have.

Gateway Park

gateway_park_nicollet_1.jpg

Pioneer Square

post_office_2.jpg

As for office space, there is simply no need.

On the far west end of downtown, where rail lines still function, it would make sense to revive an industrial sector.

On the east end of downtown, it would be good to have an urban park near the armory.

As for the remaining spaces, I would like to see mass-produced apartment buildings placed there, with retail on the first level. All surface lots could be infilled with housing within 2-3 years time.

With energy costs going where they're headed, demand for urban housing should skyrocket!

A grocery store, or a few, are a given.

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I agree with seeing a full-block park. And I think the Ritz Block would be a good choice. It's right across Nicollet Mall from the new Library, so I think it ties in with the 'public amenity' theme. With all the talk about how the two highrise condo projects on the other side of the library will fit with the library, I think it would be nice to see something softer and greener 'fit' with the library on the other side. I think the entrance of the library is dramatic and fantastic, and a whole block green space leading in front of it would give the structure some scale and breathing space, not to mention just green space for the whole area.

To the north of the Ritz Block, you do have that Cancer Survivors park, a strip of green in front of whatever buidling it is now (Allina? Temporary Library?) And beyond that is the ING plaza leading into the remainder of Gateway Park, which in turn leads to Fed Reserve green space down to the river. Its not the ultimate 'walk in the park(s)' (crossing streets and zig-zagging) but at least you'd have a slight river of green connecting from Ritz to the River.

I suppose you could accomplish a similar park with the empty block on Hennepin and Washington. But I think with the heavy traffic there, I'd rather see development that works in tandem with the Eclipse and The 222 to make it an lively mixed-use urban crossroads.

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