Downtown Parking Facilities

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
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Nick
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Downtown Parking Facilities

Postby Nick » May 27th, 2013, 7:05 pm

For a while now I've been meaning to go around Downtown Minneapolis and take pictures of the four parking ramps whose ramps displace the sidewalk. Not for any particular reason. Felt bad about eating some unnecessary ice cream and decided to go Nice Ride around this evening.

I walk along 4th Street pretty much everyday and so I get to walk in the little tunnel pretty often. It's gross.
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Nick
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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby Nick » May 27th, 2013, 7:11 pm

The one at 4th and Nicollet will thankfully be torn down within the next year or so for the new Xcel headquarters, but the other three are built for ramps that are incorporated into large buildings, and unlikely to come down any time soon. I wonder how feasible it is to rework the insides of the ramps to get them off the sidewalks?

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby mattaudio » May 27th, 2013, 7:38 pm

At least the 8th Street Grill sort of redeems one of them, but the others are a total wreck. But dontcha know you should be walking in the skyways.

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby mattaudio » May 27th, 2013, 7:38 pm

Also, I'm hoping the Macy's block in St. Paul gets rebuilt simply to remove the horrible ramp access like this.

ECtransplant
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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby ECtransplant » May 27th, 2013, 8:02 pm

The Northstar sidewalk tunnel is also perpetually filled with cigarette smoke

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby PhilmerPhil » May 27th, 2013, 8:10 pm

Nick wrote:The one at 4th and Nicollet will thankfully be torn down within the next year or so for the new Xcel headquarters, but the other three are built for ramps that are incorporated into large buildings, and unlikely to come down any time soon. I wonder how feasible it is to rework the insides of the ramps to get them off the sidewalks?
I'd also be okay with sacrificing one of the (in most cases) five lanes for a sidewalk.

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby mullen » May 27th, 2013, 8:33 pm

centre village is the worst building downtown...yes worse than city center.

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby John » May 27th, 2013, 8:54 pm

The 4th and Nicollet ramp is the worst offender of the 4 ramps IMO (although they all are bad). I can't wait until they tear it down.

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby MNdible » May 27th, 2013, 8:55 pm

These are truly unforgivable. I'd be curious to know how the property is handled in these areas -- presumably the city still owns the underlying land, but must have sold/granted an easement?

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby Matt » May 27th, 2013, 8:57 pm

Any idea when the 4th and Nicollet ramp was built? How did that get approved on Nicollet Mall?

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby seanrichardryan » May 27th, 2013, 9:41 pm

The ramp was built in 1965. Nicollet Mall was finished in 1967. The ramp has/had retail on the first floor facing the street.
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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby twincitizen » May 28th, 2013, 7:43 pm

MNdible wrote:These are truly unforgivable. I'd be curious to know how the property is handled in these areas -- presumably the city still owns the underlying land, but must have sold/granted an easement?
I think you're right. It looks like public right of way in most places, leading to goofy shaped parcels like this one http://gis.co.hennepin.mn.us/property/m ... 2924440039 or an awkward shard of public land in the case of McGladrey/Midwest Plaza. Speaking of which, I agree that the presence of 8th Street Grille really does lessen the impact, making it almost forgivable

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby twincitizen » May 28th, 2013, 8:01 pm

This company single-handedly owns the two ugliest standalone parking ramps downtown, as well as an annoying surface parking lot, all in extremely prominent locations: http://www.downtownautopark.com/map.htm

It's not like they have a huge portfolio, and their ramps are the odd combo of being standalone and privately owned/operated (whereas many standalone ramps are publicly held: Gateway, Leamington, A-B-C, etc). Fingers crossed that they're just a landholding subsidiary for someone that actually wants to develop them into something nice.

Edit: Of course I looked it up, because I had to know. Baker Investments Partnership owns all 3, and the ramps both date back to 1950, explaining their ugliness. http://gis.co.hennepin.mn.us/property/m ... 2924440028

Edit2: The ramp adjacent to 5th St Towers pays $324k in property taxes, while the shorter of the Towers pays over $2MM on the exact same lot size on the same block.
Last edited by twincitizen on May 28th, 2013, 8:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Nick
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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby Nick » May 28th, 2013, 8:06 pm

*I'll also point out that Downtown Auto Park incorrectly spells Hennepin as Hennipen [sic] on several signs, and everyone who does that should be banished to Wisconsin.

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby MotorCity2TwinCities » May 28th, 2013, 9:07 pm

DowntownAutoPark is just the worst

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 30th, 2013, 9:33 am

twincitizen wrote:Edit2: The ramp adjacent to 5th St Towers pays $324k in property taxes, while the shorter of the Towers pays over $2MM on the exact same lot size on the same block.
Prime example of how much we weigh improvements over land in our property tax formula. If the ratio was flipped, it might be something more like $1.7M in taxes for the garage and $2M for the tower, which would drastically change the economics of parking.

While we're talking about municipally-owned parking ramps... do we know the finances for each of them? Revenue (perhaps broken down by hourly, monthly, and reserved space income), operating costs, and original construction cost (if it was bonded, and if so at what rate)? I can't find any info on the Minneapolis website...

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Re: Downtown Parking Ramps

Postby twincitizen » June 4th, 2013, 11:54 pm

Same idea, but with an underground ramp, accessed directly off of Washington Avenue, no less!

http://goo.gl/maps/E293k

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Downtown Parking

Postby mattaudio » November 7th, 2013, 9:21 am

http://freakonomics.com/2013/11/06/a-gr ... king-lots/
In our podcast “Parking Is Hell,” we explored how the overwhelming demand for parking space has a lot of downsides. One big problem is that city centers can feel as if they’re practically held hostage by parking lots and garages. I was in Minneapolis the other day, and here are four pictures taken from the window of my hotel room. It’s not exactly a view that makes the heart skip …

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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby Tcmetro » November 7th, 2013, 11:26 am

Well, you have 160,000 people working downtown, 1 rapid transit line (that serves an industrial corridor, an airport, and a mall), a mediocre urban bus network, and suburban buses that run peak hours only. Add in the fact that a lot of companies give parking subsidies as perks, and voila.

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Re: Downtown Parking

Postby woofner » November 7th, 2013, 12:26 pm

If our cars have the ability to drop us off and pick us up with the swipe of a touchscreen, what will these acres and acres and acres of city land turn into?
They will turn into congested freeways, if we use our robot slavecars to double our VMT per trip.
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