Rex 26 - 2601 Lyndale Ave S

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
twincitizen
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Rex 26 - 2601 Lyndale Ave S

Postby twincitizen » January 10th, 2013, 3:21 pm

2601 Lyndale (and adjacent lots south) have been vacant for a few years now. Prior to that, there was a single story brick building covering the entire depth of the lot, which housed Rex Hardware. The building is still visible on Google Streetview, but it appears to have been closed by 2009, as the windows and door are painted over.

I assume when the building was torn down, there must have been some development plan in place. Whatever it was, it never happened. Some neighbors were unhappy with the loss of the building and lack of maintenance on the site, which is now crabgrass and dirt. Thankfully, the condominium building to the east (on Garfield) is quite large and at least decent looking to give some street presence.

I've been meaning to start a topic for this site for a while, simply because it is a prime site and development is inevitable...OR IS IT???
[hr]
Breaking news! French Meadow is seeking a Conditional Use Permit to install surface parking at 2601-09 Lyndale (Rex Hdwr site).

They are going before the Whittier Alliance Community Issues meeting on Monday, Jan. 14. The meeting is at Whittier Community Center, just down the block at 26th & Harriet.

The neighborhood is going to shred this, and rightfully so. There is just no way city staff would recommend granting this CUP, nor would the planning commission approve it. Frankly, I can't believe they're even asking for this.

Ugh, I shudder at the thought at attending another meeting this month, but it looks like I'll have to be at this one.
Last edited by twincitizen on January 10th, 2013, 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mnmike
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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby mnmike » January 10th, 2013, 3:26 pm

There was a 4 or 5 story condo building proposed here before the market crashed.

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby woofner » January 10th, 2013, 3:37 pm

I can't remember who the developer was but French Meadow always had their paws in it. The owner of French Meadow was going to put a furniture store in the ground floor. And didn't they try to do a parking lot here once before (post-crash)?
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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby twincitizen » January 10th, 2013, 7:48 pm

redisciple - it seems like you are pretty savvy regarding city processes and have been involved in this stuff a little longer than I have. What is your take on this proposal? Does this have even a slight chance of happening? It seems this goes against pretty much every word in the comprehensive plan.

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby Chef » January 11th, 2013, 12:54 am

The owners of the French Meadow have always dreamed of having a big parking lot. At one point around ten years ago they wanted to buy the CC Club and knock it down for parking but the owners of the CC Club wouldn't sell.

In general they are very disorganized and self centered people, the notion that the rest of the community doesn't want a parking lot there is completely lost on them. This lot will probably remain empty for a long time. It is sad too because they only bought Rex Hardware to prevent another restaurant from going in there.

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby minntransplant » January 11th, 2013, 9:34 am

Chef wrote:The owners of the French Meadow have always dreamed of having a big parking lot. At one point around ten years ago they wanted to buy the CC Club and knock it down for parking but the owners of the CC Club wouldn't sell.

In general they are very disorganized and self centered people, the notion that the rest of the community doesn't want a parking lot there is completely lost on them. This lot will probably remain empty for a long time. It is sad too because they only bought Rex Hardware to prevent another restaurant from going in there.
This proposal has definitely lowered my esteem of French Meadow. I wasn't aware of the earlier proposal to knock down CC club.

I'm trying to figure out why in the world they would even bother seeking a CUP, unless--for some reason--they actually believe they have a decent chance. Surely they realize all they are going to accomplish is angering people (but, perhaps, they don't care). If they want a gargantuan-sized restaurant with a sea of free parking, they could always move. Making 26th and Lyndale more suburban-like isn't the answer, although I'm sure it's the easy solution from their perceptive. Or, they could redevelop their entire existing footprint, including CC club. Build a multi-use building with public underground parking.

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Nathan
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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby Nathan » January 11th, 2013, 9:45 am

minntransplant wrote:
Chef wrote:The owners of the French Meadow have always dreamed of having a big parking lot. At one point around ten years ago they wanted to buy the CC Club and knock it down for parking but the owners of the CC Club wouldn't sell.

In general they are very disorganized and self centered people, the notion that the rest of the community doesn't want a parking lot there is completely lost on them. This lot will probably remain empty for a long time. It is sad too because they only bought Rex Hardware to prevent another restaurant from going in there.
This proposal has definitely lowered my esteem of French Meadow. I wasn't aware of the earlier proposal to knock down CC club.

I'm trying to figure out why in the world they would even bother seeking a CUP, unless--for some reason--they actually believe they have a decent chance. Surely they realize all they are going to accomplish is angering people (but, perhaps, they don't care). If they want a gargantuan-sized restaurant with a sea of free parking, they could always move. Making 26th and Lyndale more suburban-like isn't the answer, although I'm sure it's the easy solution from their perceptive. Or, they could redevelop their entire existing footprint, including CC club. Build a multi-use building with public underground parking.
I think this is a good opportunity for us all to be NIMBYs and send French Meadow a letter. They probably hear from their customers complaining about parking all the time, but never hear people complain about using an empty lot for parking...

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby aeisenberg » January 11th, 2013, 10:50 am

What time is that meeting on the 14th? I want to go watch the bloodshed.
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Nathan
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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby Nathan » January 11th, 2013, 11:00 am

I want to go too.

I was just texting a friend of mine who is a supervisor there and she said she doesn't understand why they keep looking for more parking, that it isn't that big of a deal...

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby PhilmerPhil » January 11th, 2013, 11:12 am

Let's have an UrbanMSP takeover of the meeting!!! I'll go too!

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woofner
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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby woofner » January 11th, 2013, 11:16 am

This was all happening during one or two of the gazillion times I moved to or from Whittier. Maybe Mndible remembers more details?

Generally I'd say that any lot could be made into a parking lot as long as it's not in a Pedestrian Overlay or Downtown Parking Overlay district. But because a CUP is required the city certainly has more leeway to reject it. I think the councilmember needs to hear a lot of noise from constituents for that to happen, though, and I think we've seen some parking lots blossom on East Lake and West Broadway in the last few years.
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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby twincitizen » January 11th, 2013, 11:22 am

The meeting is at 6, this item is slated for discussion at 7.

I'd recommend getting there at 6 or shortly after, to be polite.

I hate how the Whittier Alliance automatically schedules their meetings for 2.5 hours, regardless if there is one agenda item or several. The meetings almost never end early. I swear the executive director and board see this as their "social time". It really hampers citizen participation and they don't understand that people won't participate if the meetings are that long. I've gone to LHENA Z&P meetings and they are much more efficient. They actually attempt to follow the agenda and cut off public discussion when no new information is being shared.

I don't even want to go...but yeah, this should be a good one.

We could grab a pitcher at the CC afterwards

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Nathan
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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby Nathan » January 11th, 2013, 12:15 pm

twincitizen wrote:The meeting is at 6, this item is slated for discussion at 7.

I'd recommend getting there at 6 or shortly after, to be polite.

I hate how the Whittier Alliance automatically schedules their meetings for 2.5 hours, regardless if there is one agenda item or several. The meetings almost never end early. I swear the executive director and board see this as their "social time". It really hampers citizen participation and they don't understand that people won't participate if the meetings are that long. I've gone to LHENA Z&P meetings and they are much more efficient. They actually attempt to follow the agenda and cut off public discussion when no new information is being shared.

I don't even want to go...but yeah, this should be a good one.

We could grab a pitcher at the CC afterwards
I'll bring the nametags from the last happy hour ;P

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby MNdible » January 13th, 2013, 1:50 pm

redisciple wrote:This was all happening during one or two of the gazillion times I moved to or from Whittier. Maybe Mndible remembers more details?
I think your memory of it is pretty close to mine. French Meadow has always had their eye on this site, and all of the redevelopment proposals seemed really half-baked.

If they start messing with the CC Club, I'll go to the barricades over that. That's sacred ground.

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby John » January 13th, 2013, 3:05 pm

A surface parking lot at 2601 Lyndale is the most absurd proposal I have heard in a long time, and worse than the Trader Joe's development. Jeez, is this 2013? It almost amazes me that French Meadow thinks this idea will fly . Any project along this stretch of Lyndale should always be higher density and contribute ot the urban feel of the neighborhood.

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby uptowncarag » January 13th, 2013, 4:07 pm

If the French Meadow wants more parking they should move to the suburbs. It is amazing how people can't park a block or two away and walk. LAZY.

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby lordmoke » January 13th, 2013, 4:44 pm

I apologize if I missed it, but when and where is the meeting on this again? Definitely don't want this to happen. Retail on Lyndale is finally starting to fill back in. The last thing we need is another parking lot.

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby Chef » January 13th, 2013, 6:35 pm

lordmoke wrote:I apologize if I missed it, but when and where is the meeting on this again? Definitely don't want this to happen. Retail on Lyndale is finally starting to fill back in. The last thing we need is another parking lot.
Six o'clock tomorrow (Monday).

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Nathan
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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby Nathan » January 14th, 2013, 10:07 am

MNdible wrote:
redisciple wrote:This was all happening during one or two of the gazillion times I moved to or from Whittier. Maybe Mndible remembers more details?
I think your memory of it is pretty close to mine. French Meadow has always had their eye on this site, and all of the redevelopment proposals seemed really half-baked.

If they start messing with the CC Club, I'll go to the barricades over that. That's sacred ground.
They aren't going for the CC anymore.

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Re: 2601 Lyndale Ave S (vacant lot, former hardware store)

Postby WillB » January 14th, 2013, 11:22 am

Regarding tonight's meeting, check with Whittier - I heard anecdotally that French Meadow might have re-scheduled to the February meeting.


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