uptowncarag wrote:These are the same people who are afraid to go downtown. There is nothing wrong with a shorter building here but none of the other 3 proposals can make a claim for being "iconic". They should be embarrassed. If not here I do hope we get a supertall somewhere downtown. If one of these other 3 proposals is chosen as is we are looking at Block E part 2.
Thanks you for writing what I've been thinking and trying to express without coming out and saying that. While Block E had lots of door to the street. They created a bumbled mess with what they were trying to promote. Both the Game Works and the Book Store in a different economic environment would have made a lot of sense. But due to the economics vs both companies business models, the business models were for another economic period. Game Works came before the influx of residential and before Target Field became a strong draw to the area. The book store, like Barnes and Noble, was a victim of a change in the business model, with more books now being bought on line. E Block, even with all of the exterior doors, relied too much on having to navigate inside to enter the establishment that you wanted to go into. E block had terrible flow. This is where the Duval's atrium really scares me, will it be another space where you get lost finding where you want to go. Lack of good signage and sight lines, to let people know what is in the retail portion. If you try and make it a neighborhood mall it will fail. Try to make it too Michigan Avenue and it will be Gaviidee's problems revisited. It needs to be unique, but not too trendy. It needs to have things that people in the neighborhood want, not just tourist if it is going to take off. It needs to be a Crystal Court II. I say that as to mean that there will be people there at all times of the day using the various parts of the building and keeping stores engaged with customers more than just a few select hours a day.
PS: This would be an excellent spot for a new Apple store. Apple is a store that creates foot traffic 12 hours a day. It would bring workers north from the core and residence from the NL, the Mill District, and those on the LRT would have to walk maybe 2-3 blocks. Just an observation on what I think is needed to draw people 15 hours or more a day. Feel free to suggest other destination stores that would fit into this foot print.
The biggest challenge for the north end of the mall is to be visible to more than just the North Loop residence. Due to past mistakes and the area remaining undeveloped now for better than 30 years, the area is considered a dead zone. For 30 years the area has been a sea of asphalt. Now you need something that will stand out and up screaming, "Come check this out". Visibility and access will be challenges faced by all 4 developers. Due to the short sightedness of other developers and the city we have large gaps in the retail fabric of Nicollet and the rest of downtown. You will have to have something there that people want, but also is not something that you can go to Rosedale or Ridgedale for. Due to the mistakes and missteps of the past, this plot of land now has to become it's own catalyst to create a new energy that will bring people to this end of the mall and hope that the fools will work to fix the mistakes that they have created on Nicollet which gave us dead zones. Unfortunately the same dead zone issues are on Hennepin also. This is why the city has to make sure the new hotel next to the Lumber Exchange needs to have life and not cement board to keep interest in proceeding north on Hennepin. I hope the city works equally as hard on upgrading the Hennepin Avenue experience also.
If the city, Opus, and Duval could work to create a strong north Mall 2 blocks synergy. If so, then I think together they can help to create and expand that retail energy that will filter all the way down the mall. Especially with the mall rebuilding. If we can only get the mall portion of City Center fixed, then we would have a real retail environment. We need to have life on the mall from 15th to Washington and then to the river.