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O'Reilly Auto is building a new store there… http://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/STPAUL/2013/09/26/file_attachments/241055/1318%2Blarpenteur.pdf
You can fully count on O'Reilly to put its windowless back or side to Larpenteur and have all doors facing a giant parking lot. St. Paul will be lucky to get any building edge pulled up to the street. O'Reilly prefers to tuck the building as far back from the street as possible. I get that it's an auto parts store and 99.9% of customers will drive, but that's not the point. The point is urban context and a putting a building edge close to the sidewalk. I realize there is pretty much zero traditional urban form in this area, but you gotta start somewhere, otherwise the next redevelopment won't do it either, or the next, etc.
One of the nicer gas stations / auto shops in the Twin Cities (as far as urban form goes) is located in, of all places, Eden Prairie. The Bobby and Steve's shop near the EP Mall fronts the street, tucks the parking behind the storefront, and you can walk to the EP Mall, Old Chicago, or the Brunswick Zone while you're getting your oil changed, if you're brave.
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