Lake & James (southwest corner)

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
seanrichardryan
Capella Tower
Posts: 3934
Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 9:33 pm
Location: Merriam Park, St. Paul
Contact:

Lake & James (southwest corner)

Postby seanrichardryan » July 22nd, 2012, 5:32 pm

Mod note: This project was cancelled/abandoned in favor of a mixed-use condo project on the northeast corner. That topic can be found here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1849

The four houses on the SW corner of Lake Street and James Ave. are proposed for an apartment project. 6 floors of mediocrity I assume. Too bad, those houses are actually really lovely inside. I hope it doesn't go ahead and they tear down the dumps across lake instead.

http://www.ouruptown.com/2012/07/new-bu ... e-calhoun/
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

mplser
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 729
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 11:43 pm
Location: Elliot Park

Re: Lake & James

Postby mplser » July 22nd, 2012, 5:39 pm

interesting. I would welcome more density on that site if it is designed well enough. another cheap concrete board development would be horrible at this location.

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
Posts: 3131
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:19 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby min-chi-cbus » July 22nd, 2012, 9:01 pm

It certainly replaces what is currently highly under-utilized real estate -- right smack between Uptown and Lake Calhoun -- so I don't feel as though it's some kind of atrocity to bring in something of this scale to this portion of W. Lake. However, unless it shimers and glistens, residents (NIMBYs or other) will treat this project like a giant turd and promptly flush it down the pipeline (pun obviously intended).

John
Capella Tower
Posts: 2248
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 2:06 pm

Re: Lake & James

Postby John » July 22nd, 2012, 11:43 pm

seanrichardryan wrote:The four houses on the SW corner of Lake Street and James Ave. are proposed for an apartment project. 6 floors of mediocrity I assume. Too bad, those houses are actually really lovely inside. I hope it doesn't go ahead and they tear down the dumps across lake instead.

http://www.ouruptown.com/2012/07/new-bu ... e-calhoun/
6 floors of concrete board prefab apartments. Yuck! This is an issue of encroachment into a stable residential street with historic significance. These buildings should be restored with responsible home ownership encouraged. They are not building on a vacant lot etc. I don't think this will fly. I think many people in that area will see this project as invasive. I usually don't agree with nimbyism, but with this project I do. There is still plenty of vacant land east of Hennepin that need high density urban development.

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
Posts: 3131
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:19 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby min-chi-cbus » July 23rd, 2012, 7:48 am

What are you guys "yucking" about? I don't see any renderings!

John
Capella Tower
Posts: 2248
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 2:06 pm

Re: Lake & James

Postby John » July 23rd, 2012, 9:01 am

The intersection of Lake and James towards the south is dominated by single family homes (and some smaller apartment buildings from the early 20th century). There is a clear continuity in the character of this street , and I think plopping one of theses new apartment buildings onto the block would be a mistake. The apartment buildings going up in Uptown (especially along the Greenway) for the most part look fairly good, and they are being built on formerly vacant or underutilized land. They are designed to have a good connection with the Greenway, and they create a sense of visual cohesion along this very urban parkway. The Greenway is the appropriate time and place for these large apartment complexes to be built, as well as on some of the vacant lots downtown and along the riverfront. But I think the Lake and Holmes project starts disrupting the built character of an already well established urban intersection. It will look awkward and out of scale.

User avatar
Nathan
IDS Center
Posts: 4001
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:42 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby Nathan » July 23rd, 2012, 9:32 am

I think it would be nice to have a higher density, mixed retail feel along lake from Calhoun into uptown's business area. It would really draw people to and from the lake. But there are better places for buildings. SE corner of Lagoon and Irving, NW corner of Lake and James (but I just personally hate that ban sabai place. ha.). I also think that if it is going to be that tall it had better be FANTASTIC like the Edgewater or the building west of the sculpture garden (still a favorite of mine years later). If it turns out like the Lake and Knox building I will be very disappointed. It's cast concrete (stone) is hideous. Especially when it rains. Not to mention the Wells Fargo desert on Humbolt.

John
Capella Tower
Posts: 2248
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 2:06 pm

Re: Lake & James

Postby John » July 23rd, 2012, 11:38 am

fotoapparatic wrote:I think it would be nice to have a higher density, mixed retail feel along lake from Calhoun into uptown's business area. It would really draw people to and from the lake. But there are better places for buildings. SE corner of Lagoon and Irving, NW corner of Lake and James (but I just personally hate that ban sabai place. ha.). I also think that if it is going to be that tall it had better be FANTASTIC like the Edgewater or the building west of the sculpture garden (still a favorite of mine years later). If it turns out like the Lake and Knox building I will be very disappointed. It's cast concrete (stone) is hideous. Especially when it rains. Not to mention the Wells Fargo desert on Humbolt.
Yeah , its the same developer for this project as the Lake and Knox building. That's enough to make me wary. The Knox building could have been very good, but they used cheap materials on much of the exterior. In a certain way they were misleading with their renderings: it looked much higher quality than the final product. Their history with the Knox building architecture could be a detriment to their reputation in this neighborhood. Also, I'm wondering about the zoning for the Lake and James site. I can't imagine they wouldn't need zoning variances to build their project.

John
Capella Tower
Posts: 2248
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 2:06 pm

Re: Lake & James

Postby John » July 29th, 2012, 6:31 pm

Went by this block on my bike today, and James Ave (south from Lake Street) is a very intact street of residential housing from the early 20th century. There is no way the developer could put up a 6 story building made out of cement board and not ruin the integrity of the streetscape at that corner. Now there are vacant lots just a few blocks away towards Uptown that could appropriately use some higher density projects. Why not fill up these vacant parcels rather destroy an intact residential corner? The city should really encourage development of our large supply of underutilized and vacant lots. This is where we need to reweave the holes in the urban fabric of our city.

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
Posts: 3131
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:19 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby min-chi-cbus » July 29th, 2012, 7:10 pm

^I rarely agree with NIMBYs but in this instance I tend to agree with you. Not ALL redevelopment "adds" to the community, especially when you have to tear down existing, perfectly-functional structures to do so. But it's never as easy as "build on vacant lots first", because it's difficult to know who owns what blocks or parts of blocks and/or why they are vacant in the first place. Sometimes there's also zoning restrictions that keep those properties in low demand too. I'm not sure exactly why this particular location was targeted by the developer because he/she still has to buy those parcels before tearing them down and I don't know what makes him/her think that will be an easy task. I think if you want developers to work within the least desirable parcels first you have to give them a bit more leeway with how they choose to develop those parcels. IOW, don't nitpick over 1-2 extra floors if that's the best way for the developer to add to the community AND make the neccessary "hurdle rate" (or rate of return) that he needs to make the project viable (remember, a lot of developers are public and/or have private partners with large stakes in their company who want to see "succcess" -- i.e. more money).

John
Capella Tower
Posts: 2248
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 2:06 pm

Re: Lake & James

Postby John » July 29th, 2012, 8:11 pm

min-chi-cbus wrote:^I rarely agree with NIMBYs but in this instance I tend to agree with you. Not ALL redevelopment "adds" to the community, especially when you have to tear down existing, perfectly-functional structures to do so. But it's never as easy as "build on vacant lots first", because it's difficult to know who owns what blocks or parts of blocks and/or why they are vacant in the first place. Sometimes there's also zoning restrictions that keep those properties in low demand too. I'm not sure exactly why this particular location was targeted by the developer because he/she still has to buy those parcels before tearing them down and I don't know what makes him/her think that will be an easy task. I think if you want developers to work within the least desirable parcels first you have to give them a bit more leeway with how they choose to develop those parcels. IOW, don't nitpick over 1-2 extra floors if that's the best way for the developer to add to the community AND make the neccessary "hurdle rate" (or rate of return) that he needs to make the project viable (remember, a lot of developers are public and/or have private partners with large stakes in their company who want to see "succcess" -- i.e. more money).
I get what your saying, and I realize development is a complex and arduous process. And developers need to make a profit which is part of business. I think high density development is good for Minneapolis and most of the time I support it. But we have an issue of too many vacant or underutilized parcels in both Uptown, downtown, and other parts of the city. Just two blocks east of Lake and James is this ridiculous Well Fargo drive through bank that takes up a whole block on Lake Street! It is mostly an asphalt parking lot. We need to get those rebuilt into higher density urban infill. Maybe the issue is our city needs to be more proactive and give incentives to developers to encourage more of this to happen.

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
Posts: 3131
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:19 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby min-chi-cbus » July 29th, 2012, 9:03 pm

^Exactly.

Chef
Landmark Center
Posts: 296
Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 7:33 pm

Re: Lake & James

Postby Chef » July 30th, 2012, 8:47 pm

First you have to make Wells Fargo sell the bank. If they don't want to there is nothing that can be done.

min-chi-cbus
Capella Tower
Posts: 3131
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:19 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby min-chi-cbus » July 30th, 2012, 9:19 pm

Chef wrote:First you have to make Wells Fargo sell the bank. If they don't want to there is nothing that can be done.
Yah-huh -- Eminent Domain!!

ECtransplant
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 751
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:56 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby ECtransplant » July 30th, 2012, 9:36 pm

Chef wrote:First you have to make Wells Fargo sell the bank. If they don't want to there is nothing that can be done.
Well they could always redevelop the lot while keeping a bank at street level

go4guy
Foshay Tower
Posts: 899
Joined: June 4th, 2012, 8:54 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby go4guy » July 31st, 2012, 9:06 am

I think this is great for this corner. I have always thought these "Single family homes" on Lake St here was just a waste. These are crappy homes right now, and single family homes should not be on a busy street like this in such a busy area. Also, the buildings to the south are mainly apartment buildings, or large homes that are now very much multi-family homes. This is a good use of this parcel as there should be a step up in height towards Lake. Every home to the south is at least 3 stories high. We need more densitiy in this area, and this will help.

seanrichardryan
Capella Tower
Posts: 3934
Joined: June 3rd, 2012, 9:33 pm
Location: Merriam Park, St. Paul
Contact:

Re: Lake & James

Postby seanrichardryan » July 31st, 2012, 10:38 am

These are 2.5-3 story homes that are multiple units already. Shoving another cardboard apartment building into this location will not do anything to 'improve' the area.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

John
Capella Tower
Posts: 2248
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 2:06 pm

Re: Lake & James

Postby John » July 31st, 2012, 11:10 am

I doubt the developer would build anything less than 6 stories for this project. And, I don't think the neighborhood will be very receptive to the proposal. They are barking up the wrong tree. There are other places and opportunities to put a building of this scale in Uptown. They should be pursuing other options and stop wasting their time.

ECtransplant
US Bank Plaza
Posts: 751
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 9:56 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby ECtransplant » July 31st, 2012, 11:17 am

There are so many surface lots in or adjacent to the core of uptown that the thought of tearing down these buildings seems more and more ridiculous every time I think about it.

User avatar
woofner
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1327
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:04 am

Re: Lake & James

Postby woofner » July 31st, 2012, 11:45 am

seanrichardryan wrote:These are 2.5-3 story homes that are multiple units already. Shoving another cardboard apartment building into this location will not do anything to 'improve' the area.
The four structures contain a total of 7 units with a total of 21 bedrooms (if I counted right in my head). I think we can expect whatever they propose to have more than that.

To cite an example of a good proposal by the same developer, their project at 35th & Grand will fit 30 units (I think they were all 1 bedrooms?) into 4 stories on a slightly smaller lot (.36 acres vs .4 at L&J). In my opinion 5 stories would definitely be appropriate at L&J and potentially 6 or 7 depending on how it's done.

I agree that the existing houses are worth saving - especially if they're in good shape - and I think it's tragic that our society is so unconcerned with history and aesthetics as to let resources like this be destroyed. But I also think that the Twin Cities were set up with a form that was unprecedented for large cities and has proven to be inadequate. We need density to rectify that and the best compromise to the existing fabric of the city (not to mention neighborhood politics) is to cluster that density on streets like Lake. It would be one thing if these houses were exceptional. They are not. There are literally hundreds of similar houses within a mile of the site. Ideally they would be moved. If people continue to prefer a cheap, ugly, inefficient new home to an expensive, beautiful, efficient older home, they will have to go.
"Who rescued whom!"


Return to “Minneapolis - South, Southwest, and Uptown”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest