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Washington & Hennepin


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Right now, its pretty bleak there. But its probably the prime intersection for traffic flow downtown. And 3 of the 4 corners are up for development.

First, is the possible Whole Foods where the Jag dealership is. South of that is where the Eclipse is going. And East of that is the open lot, which Downtown Journal states Opus wants from the city in swapping with their 1/2 of the Powers Block.

So, within a few years, we could be seeing that cold, open intersection really rise up and cozy up to the streets with stores and housing.

What would you do to make that area pedestrian friendly? Two major roads with lotsa cars are sailing through there, so it may deter potential visitors to mill about. Although high auto and pedestrian traffic coexist at Lake and Hennepin in Uptown.

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I'd like to see them widen the sidewalks in the area and anrrow the road. To make the road appear narrower, one could use a center island with green space. Grass there could look good, as Downtown seriously lacks green space.

To accomodate these changes, one can eleminiate on-street parking and make the lanes narrower. The lanes need only be wide enough to barely accomidate vehicles. That also has a nice byproduct of slowing automotive traffic naturally. Too many drivers driving too fast for the city in off-peak hours.

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Well, here we go! Downtown Journal is reporting a huge Whole Foods/Condo Tower development on the current Jaguar Dealership site, on Hennepin and Wash. It appears the development will feature a 35 story tower with a large Whole Foods anchoring the bottom level(s). A couple smaller, adjacent buildings are proposed in the Seattle-based developer's plans as well.

The rendering isn't clear yet, but it looks like maybe the street configuration may be altered to accomodate south-bound Hennepin traffic. Currently, traffic has to make quite a harsh "S" maneuver to continue down 1st Avenue.

I also haven't heard much on The Eclipse project. The hole is there, but nothing moving forward. Are pre-sales up and running?

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