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jw138
Union Depot
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby jw138 » January 4th, 2016, 4:53 pm

Mcgizz wrote:I think you are both dead wrong. There are a number of cities all around the world that are actively working to limit the interaction of cars and dense urban areas. London has a tax on cars in the most congested areas, London has not had any signs in becoming a less desirable place to live or work. Berlin and other cities in Europe are also actively working to remove the car from the streets. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation- ... 29585.html

America is different though and so is Minneapolis. That does not mean that our city/county should cater to suburbanites who are just trying to flee our city centers as fast as possible.
These are old world cities with extensive and long established alternative transportation infrastructures. They're also worlds apart from us culturally. Use of alternative transportation has long been entrenched in European culture and unquestioned by most. Most are dependent on it to live their day-to-day lives. Here, not so much. We still love, and are centered around the car. Minneapolis has TWO relatively short and very new LRT lines. It's been very difficult to get to even this point and feels like it'll be an uphill battle building out more infrastructure. Culturally, we don't yet have critical mass to totally abandon the car.

I'm not suggesting catering to every suburban commuters demand. The general feel of the discussion thus far though seems to be on par with banning cars and removing freeways. Trying to move in this direction too quickly in our current cultural climate, with our dependence on the car, and the current state of our transportation infrastructure would be counter-productive. We are making progress but complete change can't come over night. For the time being, we still have to respect the car and suburbanites and try to work together without totally dismissing each other. They still form the majority of the metro.
Last edited by jw138 on January 4th, 2016, 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nathan
IDS Center
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Nathan » January 4th, 2016, 4:55 pm

trigonalmayhem wrote:Also what happened to the interesting way the streetcar was supposed to cut across the block in the original design? Wasn't it pictured going under the building and joining Hennepin mid-block? The new design is kind of bland and will make walking that corner be kind of dangerous. And why the center platform? Normally I'm all for them, but with the plaza this seems like a place where side platforms make more sense. Or is that part still super preliminary?
I dunno, this definitely is quite lackluster compared to the original, and I agree in an open plaza loading scenario they should be on the sides. I'd much rather see it travel in the street than just clip an awkward corner.

widin007
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby widin007 » January 4th, 2016, 5:04 pm

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2015/12/10/r ... -obsolete/

Just going to leave this here, "“Walkability and activated environments are at the top of many tenants’ list of must haves,” the report states"

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby mattaudio » January 4th, 2016, 5:09 pm

mattaudio wrote:On a related note, it seems ridiculous that this project only contains three ground floor retail locations and one ground floor restaurant. Granted, they are all thousands of square feet. But that's really pathetic for a building that occupies a (small) full downtown block with four blockfaces of street frontage - about 1400 linear feet. Compare that to any prewar development (much of which has been knocked down Downtown) and you see the stark difference.

Even "streetcar corners" in the neighborhoods do much better. I live near 48th and Chicago, which is a nice but not particularly noteworthy urban corner. The total "street wall" of the commercial corner is 1382 feet, less than the "street walls" of the four blockfaces of the Nicollet Hotel Block. Yet, instead of 3 storefronts and 1 restaurant, it has 17 storefronts and 11 restaurants.

How pathetic is it that we only expect to get a tiny fraction of the sidewalk activation, trip generation density, and Gehl Door Average on a city-owned downtown block compared to a classic-yet-boring streetcar node?
There's plenty of disappointment for this site plan without even getting to the disappointment that is the street designs that surround it.

MNdible
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby MNdible » January 4th, 2016, 5:11 pm

MNdible wrote:
mattaudio wrote:On a related note, it seems ridiculous that this project only contains three ground floor retail locations and one ground floor restaurant. Granted, they are all thousands of square feet.
Presumably, there's nothing that would prevent them from subdividing that retail space if that's what the market demanded, right?
Since we're quoting ourselves.

mattaudio
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby mattaudio » January 4th, 2016, 5:15 pm

We should have a minimum Gehl Door Ratio, forcing more granularity along the blockface. It's not sufficient to say "would subdivide if the market demanded." As downtown has proven, that doesn't really happen because these giant firms managing Class A office space don't want to mess with a few hundred feet of retail here or there. Yet it is needed. The market has failed to provide fine-grained urbanism.

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Nathan
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Nathan » January 4th, 2016, 5:15 pm

I appreciate the article, but to compare this conversation about "traffic calming and commuters in an existing fairly walkable downtown" to "suburban office parks vs downtown offices" isn't really a valid comparison.

We have some very car oriented streels but we still have a very walkable and engaging core for the most part.

MNdible
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby MNdible » January 4th, 2016, 5:29 pm

mattaudio wrote:The market has failed to provide fine-grained urbanism.
If by the market, you mean consumers of retail goods, then I agree.

TroyGBiv
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby TroyGBiv » January 4th, 2016, 5:56 pm


Silophant
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Silophant » January 4th, 2016, 6:51 pm

Welp.

acs
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby acs » January 4th, 2016, 7:20 pm

Can we still use the "i" word for this project?

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Sacrelicio
Union Depot
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Sacrelicio » January 4th, 2016, 7:40 pm

acs wrote:Can we still use the "i" word for this project?
Ice cream?

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jw138
Union Depot
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby jw138 » January 4th, 2016, 8:10 pm

*sigh*

acs
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby acs » January 4th, 2016, 8:22 pm

Sacrelicio wrote:
acs wrote:Can we still use the "i" word for this project?
Ice cream?
I envy you. You weren't around for the majority of the debacle. Your hopes are only being crushed by 6 floors and not 60.

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Michael
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Michael » January 4th, 2016, 8:35 pm

acs wrote:Can we still use the "i" word for this project?
insipid?

Wedgeguy
Capella Tower
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Wedgeguy » January 4th, 2016, 10:31 pm

Just saw the Journal's piece on this project and it looks like they will have until January of 2017 to get their land use plan in order . They would have 30 month to get it constructed, and have to start construction 30 days after the application is approved.

Can't believe that it will take 2 1/2 years to build, but they are doing underground parking that I'm sure will be into some bedrock removal that could add time. Also if it is like the rest of MPLS, there will be old foundations that will have to be dug up and disposed of also.

Didier
Capella Tower
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Didier » January 5th, 2016, 12:05 am

Plus, they'll have to halt construction during the winters.

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Tiller
Foshay Tower
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Tiller » January 5th, 2016, 3:38 am

United Properties and its partners also asked city staff to consider closing down Nicollet Mall between Washington Avenue S. and 3rd Street S. — but the city refused


Uh, yeah, let's not do that. "Closing Nicollet" does not have a good ring to it.

Silophant
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Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby Silophant » January 5th, 2016, 6:29 am

Yeah, but in this case, it's closing Nicollet a single block before it ends anyway, not cutting it in half. I would have been fine with it, but keeping the ROW in public hands is probably a good idea too.

trigonalmayhem

Re: Nicollet Hotel Block

Postby trigonalmayhem » January 5th, 2016, 7:53 am

The city asked for something special and then cronyism kicked in and they got another building that's basically the same as all the others going up nearby. Mission accomplished everyone. Thanks Itasca group.


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