Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
RailBaronYarr
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 17th, 2016, 12:59 pm

The Uptown Small Area Plan even talks about consolidating curb cuts along Hennepin at this exact location by using shared parking with entrances from 26th, 27th and a RIRO on Hennepin (vs the 7 that existed at the time). Page 15.

It's nice to see there's some pushback from the neighbors in East Isles beyond the 10 or so members of this forum that I'd typically expect to be vocal about something like this. Unlike issues the city considers like height/bulk/etc that require variances and CUPs, there's not much the city can do here. This is what it feels like to have a small area plan with recommendations that fall on the deaf ears of developers. Je suis NIMBY.

mattaudio
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby mattaudio » February 17th, 2016, 1:13 pm

acs wrote:So, if we let them build over 3 floors we could maybe get a mixed use project?
How the heck can Walgreens be planning a 3 floor mixed use building in my sleepy little neighborhood, but they claim 3 floors won't work at 27th and Hennepin?

Edit: Does anyone know the parcel IDs for this assembled site? I'd like to compare a few numbers on the Walgreens mixed-use planned in my neighborhood (with a second 1500 SF storefront, 50 units of senior housing, and underground parking) alongside this Walgreens suburban turd proposal.

twincitizen
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby twincitizen » February 17th, 2016, 3:16 pm

Important clarification: this land will continue to be owned by the current property owner of Roat Osha. Semper is merely acting as consultant for Walgreens, they aren't even the developer on the project. The Roat Osha owners are buying the southern FirstTech site as well and tearing that building down. Paul Dzunbar (Green Mill owner) will continue to own the northern FirstTech site, hopefully rehabbed for retail use.

My point is that sometimes these analyses go beyond "highest and best use" or what might create the best long term ROI. Building a single-use building for a long-term lease tenant who pays top dollar rents is a very stable investment for your family trust for the foreseeable future. Doing a mixed-use project would require bringing on a residential investor, co-owners or taking on massive debt, a management team, etc. Simply put, it's a hell of a lot more complex of a situation for the property owners. Maybe they don't need to maximize, they just want a stable, long-term moneymaker for their family. I'm not defending their actions, just trying to help people understand the "why" here.

This actually seems like a very similar situation to the rejected Trader Joe's proposal at 27th & Lyndale a few years back. That property owner wanted a stable, high rent paying, long-term tenant who would be a sure thing. They didn't want to sell or bring on a residential partner. They just wanted a more secure investment for their family than the existing condition (multiple older buildings with possible maintenance issues, etc.)

So I guess what I'm saying is, Walgreens is not necessarily the villain here (even though they likely prefer the proposal as-is vs. being in a mixed-use building). If you're super against the proposal, reaching out to the property owner as a neighbor might be the only real avenue for change. At this point it is probably too late to change their minds, but maybe that's something for us to remember for future similar situations.

acs
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby acs » February 17th, 2016, 3:27 pm

That is, unless Bender can come to the rescue and get her pedestrian overlay bill through ASAP. Right now the best thing we can do is delay, delay, delay.

twincitizen
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby twincitizen » February 17th, 2016, 3:31 pm

A Pedestrian Overlay would only stop the drive-thru, no? The drive-thru isn't really the problem. It's the low FAR and lack of a residential component. The drive-thru, as designed, is actually pretty context-sensitive and not terrible. It's actually really similar to the drive-thru at Bank of America (just south of this site in the Giordano's building).

I understand that without the drive-thru, Walgreens probably wouldn't be looking to move at all. They'd probably just stay where they are or find another site nearby where they can build a drive-thru. We need FAR minimums way more than we need to prohibit drive-thru windows. Prohibit fast-food drive-thrus? Absolutely. But single-lane, context-sensitive pharmacy pickup windows or drive-up ATMs are just fine in a lot of cases. Surely I don't need to mention the CVS at Nicollet & Franklin again...it got quite the love-fest last night.

mattaudio
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby mattaudio » February 17th, 2016, 3:34 pm

For comparison:
The 3 story mixed use Walgreens proposal for my neighborhood includes a drive-through tucked up against the alley. We are so ecstatic about the mixed use and senior housing that I don't know anyone planning to protest the drive-through as an issue.

PhilmerPhil
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby PhilmerPhil » February 17th, 2016, 3:46 pm

acs wrote:That is, unless Bender can come to the rescue and get her pedestrian overlay bill through ASAP. Right now the best thing we can do is delay, delay, delay.
The application has already been submitted with the city. Any expansion of the PO district will not affect the existing application.

So really, the only thing we can do is ask the property owners to be better neighbors, or maybe express concerns Walgreen's customer support. Neither of those options seem likely to have any impact unfortunately.

We're stuck with this thing.

grant1simons2
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby grant1simons2 » February 17th, 2016, 3:49 pm

What if we plant plant native burial remains on the site?

acs
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby acs » February 17th, 2016, 4:01 pm

Alley vacation, complete bs, any obscure zoning reg will do to at least buy time. It worked with that triangle parcel in NE right?

twincitizen
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby twincitizen » February 17th, 2016, 4:25 pm

Yeah that's because they were applying for an alley vacation (at 420 East Hennepin). No such condition exists here. You're grasping at straws that aren't there. Appealing to the goodwill of the property owner is probably the only thing left.

Silophant
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby Silophant » February 17th, 2016, 6:53 pm

Would have been nice if the City Council would have reacted like this to the first drive-through ar this intersection instead of waiting for the second one.

twincitizen
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby twincitizen » February 17th, 2016, 7:44 pm

Or did something about setting FAR minimums along major transit corridors after the 420 East Hennepin dustup last year (or any of the other previous proposals for crappy one-story buildings).

thatchio
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby thatchio » February 18th, 2016, 12:02 am

Doesn't the owner of Roat Osha (the business) also own Tum Rup Thai? If so, could try to apply pressure. Realistically, there aren't probably enough people to boycott TRT to make them care. I have a hard time believing that increasing the density on that site couldn't increase the investment outcomes given the current market. If they're trying to minimize risk, then a Walgreen's drive thru single story deal probably is a winner. Not to mention, it is a whole lot quicker.

Condo_Dweller
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby Condo_Dweller » February 18th, 2016, 12:22 am

Oh yeah, lets pressure them..blah, blah. Are you guys serious? It's a free effing country. So long as they are within city code they can do what the hell they want. People up in arms over a drive through and one story building!! Most of Hennepin Ave is 1 or 2 stories.

grant1simons2
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby grant1simons2 » February 18th, 2016, 12:27 am

Image

amiller92
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby amiller92 » February 18th, 2016, 8:41 am

Condo_Dweller wrote:Most of Hennepin Ave is 1 or 2 stories.
Which is why it's a damn shame to lock more of it into such an inadequate form for a few more decades.

Silophant
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby Silophant » February 18th, 2016, 9:03 am

Condo_Dweller wrote:Most of Hennepin Ave is 1 or 2 stories.
Most of Downtown East is (or was) surface parking. Doesn't mean we shouldn't strive for something better.

mattaudio
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby mattaudio » February 18th, 2016, 9:08 am

Silophant wrote:strive for something better.
The natural evolution of surface parking is to structured parking.

Archiapolis
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby Archiapolis » February 18th, 2016, 1:30 pm

twincitizen wrote:Important clarification: this land will continue to be owned by the current property owner of Roat Osha. Semper is merely acting as consultant for Walgreens, they aren't even the developer on the project. The Roat Osha owners are buying the southern FirstTech site as well and tearing that building down. Paul Dzunbar (Green Mill owner) will continue to own the northern FirstTech site, hopefully rehabbed for retail use.

My point is that sometimes these analyses go beyond "highest and best use" or what might create the best long term ROI. Building a single-use building for a long-term lease tenant who pays top dollar rents is a very stable investment for your family trust for the foreseeable future. Doing a mixed-use project would require bringing on a residential investor, co-owners or taking on massive debt, a management team, etc. Simply put, it's a hell of a lot more complex of a situation for the property owners. Maybe they don't need to maximize, they just want a stable, long-term moneymaker for their family. I'm not defending their actions, just trying to help people understand the "why" here.

This actually seems like a very similar situation to the rejected Trader Joe's proposal at 27th & Lyndale a few years back. That property owner wanted a stable, high rent paying, long-term tenant who would be a sure thing. They didn't want to sell or bring on a residential partner. They just wanted a more secure investment for their family than the existing condition (multiple older buildings with possible maintenance issues, etc.)

So I guess what I'm saying is, Walgreens is not necessarily the villain here (even though they likely prefer the proposal as-is vs. being in a mixed-use building). If you're super against the proposal, reaching out to the property owner as a neighbor might be the only real avenue for change. At this point it is probably too late to change their minds, but maybe that's something for us to remember for future similar situations.
Well reasoned points.

As soon as I read "family trust", I knew that this thing was over. Very few people in their right mind would choose being a friendly neighbor over the long term financial stability that this appears to provide.

I know that there are more "streets geeks" on this forum and curb cuts and pedestrian safety and all of that does suck but I'm far more frustrated with such a low land use.

Black eye for the city to not have better long-term planning for Hennepin Ave in this area of Uptown - just brutal.

I think the ONLY thing that keeps this from going through is a comprehensive land assembly that brings the Green Mill to the table, puts the whole thing together into everybody's favorite "5 over 1" mixed-use/residential and blows away the owners of Roat Osha with a massive offer. Any wagers on that happening?

Condo_Dweller
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Re: Walgreens - (2650 Hennepin - Roat Osha/FirstTech)

Postby Condo_Dweller » February 18th, 2016, 9:24 pm

The answer is if you don;t build a five story building you are a bad neighbor? Childish.


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