Nicollet Mall

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
mplser
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Nicollet Mall

Postby mplser » June 1st, 2012, 5:34 pm


John
Capella Tower
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby John » June 1st, 2012, 7:45 pm

I live on Nicollet Mall in the only residential building located along this pedestrian corridor, and I have a few thoughts about the future of the Mall, and some ways to improve it.
First, the paving and materials used for the sidewalks needs to be more weather resistant and have the ability to wear well over a long period of time. Having the Downtown Improvement District has been helpful in keeping Nicollet Mall cleaner, but the stone tile pavement is aging, and has not been kept up by the city ( just like the city's wonderful history of upkeep for Peavey Plaza!).
There is an increasing sense of lack of safety along the mall, and I feel the city is afraid of being politically incorrect to make the mall safer. It is filled with vagrants and panhandlers. There are too many youths loitering around 7th and Nicollet. What really needs to happen is to create a very consistent and strong presence of beat police downtown. Police who have good communication skills and have cultural training to understand the diverse cultures that intersect with each other downtown.
There needs to be a much stronger push for residential living in the inner core of downtown, not just in the North Loop or Loring Park. The Nicollet Residences project is a good start. In addition ,there needs to be more residential development around Hennepin Ave in the entertainment district.
Lastly, there needs to be a major( and I mean MAJOR) revamping of City Center with a much more open and engaged facade with Nicollet Mall. It is by far the worst building along Nicollet Mall and is deteriorating. It needs a new owner who has some guts and creativity. It could become a great focal point for Nicollet Mall retail , and it is the only complex that is connected to Nicollet Mall and Hennepin Ave. It has great potential and the city ( public sector) really needs to be more aggressive in assisting a private developer to renovate it.

dumberGuy

Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby dumberGuy » June 1st, 2012, 11:21 pm

why is Nic Mall so ghetto? I mean, the problematic folk, God bless them, don't live or work downtown. What's the appeal of hanging downtown as opposed to wherever it is these good people bed down at night?

MPLS Swede
Block E
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby MPLS Swede » June 2nd, 2012, 12:07 am

The "Problematic Folks" have always been atracted to urban environments, it's like that in every major city. The problem in MPLS is that there is a much smaller fraction of "ordinary folks" that use the downtown streets to get from one point to another. In more vibrant urban city cores the "problematic folks" are simply diluted by "ordinary people". The same of course is valid for the metro transit buses. One solution to this is to get more people to live in the downtown core, but much more so to get the people that work and use amenities in downtown to get out on the streets. Here one can blame the skyways to a large extent as they take a very large fraction of people off the streets.

John
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby John » June 2nd, 2012, 4:54 am

Downtown is naturally a place with great deal of human diversity and activity. This is one of its great qualities that makes it such a cool place to live. But it needs balance so one group or activity does no dominate or threaten the peaceful coexistence of another. There needs to be respect and a sense of civility. The main purpose of having a strong beat police presence downtown is to maintain that civility and peaceful coexistence. I was in Manhattan a few years ago and was impressed by the diversity of humanity on the street, yet everyone minds their own business and moves along without bothering anybody else. There was less loitering and time for people to intimidate others or get into trouble. In fact, loitering seemed frowned upon on street corners. There were definitely more beat cops etc on the street. I felt there was a stronger sense of security in Manhattan: maybe its the sheer numbers of people on the streets, and the fact they don't have skyways siphoning off people from the street. Anyways, Minneapolis could do a lot better to create a sense of safety downtown. Currently it feels like the safety issues are either ignored, or the powers that be are afraid to truly address the problem.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 2nd, 2012, 9:05 am

DumberGuy:

I think it's the same reason you see pigeons, rats, and cockroaches congregate in the city core -- opportunity (I'm NOT saying any one person is a pigeon, rat or roach, but the point is that things in general that scavenge for opportunity tend to do so where there is the most opportunity: people, trash, etc.).

John
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby John » June 2nd, 2012, 10:53 am

My point is not to discriminate or exclude anyone. The idea is to maintain a feeling of civility and security for everyone on Nicollet Mall.

sushisimo
Landmark Center
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby sushisimo » June 2nd, 2012, 4:50 pm

I think the simple, core question is "why should anybody be there". That is why who is there, is there right now.

John
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby John » June 2nd, 2012, 5:30 pm

That's why "there" should have more retail, housing, and beat cops!

Lancestar2

Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Lancestar2 » June 7th, 2012, 6:59 pm

I think if you simply blame the Skyway system for stealing street traffic you also have to recognize the many benefits of the skyway. The skyway makes living downtown more habitable and pleasurable. Which in return makes people want to live, work, and play downtown.

I envision 20-40 years from now when Minneapolis has a strong residential core it will be able to support a retail and pedestrian skyway system and a limited street high pedestrian walkways (such as parts of Hennepin and Nicollet Mall are today!). For the time being I guess we just have to endure everyone complaining about the "harmfulness of the skyway" :roll: until the day comes when Minneapolis has a successful dense downtown.

With that said, I think trying to remove the buses is pointless! Trust me I would LOVE to replace the buses with street cars but realistically such a project would have to include the SW LRT, Greenway Streetcar line, and the Central/Nicollet Streetcar line. If such an accomplishment can be achieved then that would be amazing and would improve the transit options along Nicollet ave 100x!

I do agree with the idea of getting rid of taxis along Nicollet ave and cop cars! (cops have their little scooters no need for them to drive!) It would be nice to see a biking element and with less traffic I think busses and bikes could co-exist

lighting could be completely changed by introducing lighting in different ways. Such as lighting from buildings but mostly the skyways to highlight them MORE by giving them more of a "bridge over a black river" look (they should stand out nice and bright! but not blinding of course :lol: in different colors to help navigation!) The current ground lighting elements is a great idea but is in a dated style. Modernizing this element could include running 3 inch tube lighting elements into shapes or guide pedestrian. (ground advertisements with back light lighting!! makes a little money to pay for upkeep!)

for the surface I think a curb free zone would be great! although during winter it may seem dangerous with sliding buses! any surface they decide to go with needs to have enough texture to allow drivers and pedestrian to keep there footing. I personally think a nice red brick color would be great!

Also I think Nicollet Mall could sell naming rights which could bring in a lot more funds to help add much more smaller details such as updated seating elements, planters, kiosks, and fountains ect ect. Including the DID program could sell naming rights! Could you imagine getting your companies logo connected with the program that cleans up the downtown area! Also the the added revenue they could extend their downtown zone further into a large management zone!

I don't think one ground back lit add per block would be excessive nor do I think that calling the DID program "Target DID" if they want to further help the program's success! or calling Nicollet Mall "Macy's Mall" in ALL the Kiosks, advertising, and street signing (thought the post office may object). I think it would really help fund what we ALL want a better, redesigned and more modern Nicollet Mall! :mrgreen:

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby FISHMANPET » June 9th, 2012, 8:55 pm

I can't find much about City Center and why it's terrible, and with my somewhat limited number of visits downtown I'm not even entirely sure what constitutes the building. Is there any good information on it? Should it have a thread?

Nathaniel
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Nathaniel » June 10th, 2012, 11:21 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:I can't find much about City Center and why it's terrible, and with my somewhat limited number of visits downtown I'm not even entirely sure what constitutes the building. Is there any good information on it? Should it have a thread?
That's a great topic and I'm going to attempt to research it this week.

Wedgeguy
Capella Tower
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Wedgeguy » June 11th, 2012, 8:14 am

They really need to do a major facade reconstruction of the lower 4 stories. Make it street and predestrian friendly again.

Tcmetro
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Tcmetro » June 11th, 2012, 8:27 am

City Center is basically the podium to two towers, holding shopping and parking. Their used to be a tourism office on the corner of 7th and Hennepin, but is now gone, their are two restaurants and an Office Depot on the three other corners. Midblocks are blank, besides the entrances to the towers and parking access. Inside, there used to be a lot of retail, but most of the 1st floor and the food court are no longer used for that purpose.

Nordeastmpls
City Center
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Nordeastmpls » June 11th, 2012, 8:38 am

Agreed.....the facade on the 6th, 7th and Nicollet sides is truly awful. I'm surprised there is as much retail inside as there is. You would think potential tennants would take one look at the outside and say NO WAY.

mullen
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby mullen » June 11th, 2012, 9:28 am

nicollet mall needs to become an authentic pedestrian mall to thrive and become a true destination. most european cities did this years ago. the buses don't need to be running on the mall. that's a vestige of the 70's. that thinking has run its course. people will adjust to boarding and dropping off elesewhere. '

i don't care that the buses are "green". it's a still a big lumbering thing impeding the space. people will walk, stroll, bike...the street at the center of the city. sidewalk cafe's and restaurants will flourish even more then they already do. retail is not dependent on mall buses. downtown retail is dependent on the office workers and resident population, most of whom walk to these stores either during the lunchour or after work.

John
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby John » June 11th, 2012, 10:38 am

Nordeastmpls wrote:Agreed.....the facade on the 6th, 7th and Nicollet sides is truly awful. I'm surprised there is as much retail inside as there is. You would think potential tennants would take one look at the outside and say NO WAY.
I wonder that too with all the boarded up entrances on Nicollet Mall. I would think the city would be very interested in renovating this complex's exterior as part of their strategy to to rejuvenate Nicollet Mall and Hennepin. Until City Center is redone it will continue to be a huge detriment to making the core vibrant and more safe. And I think its very clear the owners of City Center are not interested in investing money into the complex. Quite frankly thay are not that different than slumlords. The truth is this complex will never work well until there is a major renovation of the exterior and a reskinning of the facade of the office tower. That's going to take big bucks to do. If there was ever a downtown project the city should be involved in to improve downtown, this is it.

Nordeastmpls
City Center
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Nordeastmpls » June 11th, 2012, 10:56 am

I think they could re-do the facade of just the 4 story retail portion and leave the tower alone. Its my least favorite tall building downtown, but the street level at the base of the tower is not as bad as the street level of the retail portion. Of course I would love it they did something with the exterior of the whole place, but that would take a massive investment.

John
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Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby John » June 11th, 2012, 11:23 am

Nordeastmpls wrote:I think they could re-do the facade of just the 4 story retail portion and leave the tower alone. Its my least favorite tall building downtown, but the street level at the base of the tower is not as bad as the street level of the retail portion. Of course I would love it they did something with the exterior of the whole place, but that would take a massive investment.
I agree with you. The lower levels are the most important to renovate. But there are many office towers in th US they are reskinning to update the look of the building. Its very possible to do. They need a good tenant who wants a good public image.

Lancestar2

Re: Nicollet Mall

Postby Lancestar2 » June 11th, 2012, 1:37 pm

I like city center the way it is, however it could be greatly improved by some small changes!

Granted I would LOVE a multi-million dollar redesing :mrgreen: but small fixes could go a LONG way!

1) Hire additional security for the retail district (you can hire through an existing security firm for the hours you want for example 4PM to 8PM and 2-3 guards)

2) with added security opening up the boarded up doors would be a big plus! and could help spark more retail in the 1st and 2nd floors!

3) decrease the rent cost to attract new renters (after 12-18mo. you can raise the price to come into line with the market)

4) resigning of the outside building Office Depot and Marshall should have less signing so other retail can have signing! For example a lot of the food places should get some signing would really look nice! (of course provided city approval)

5) Under the skyway doors should have a "City Center" signing with a "skyway" decal on the doors to advertise the access point

6) take down the ugly Marshalls & Office Depot banners!!!!! and give the building a good powerwash!

that's just for the Nicollet Ave part the section along 7th street bus stop idk what to do there...


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