Arby’s Island

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 13th, 2018, 12:12 am

at40man wrote: This is a really drab and slightly depressing building. It has a few good ideas, like the curved walls. But I wish it was warmer in color, and had some sort of ornamentation. Hopefully they try to make it better.
I approve this message.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 13th, 2018, 12:21 am

The problem with applying that way of thinking to now is the same struggle Minneapolis went through with the Nicollet Lot. Just because something of note should be built somewhere because of the angles the roads come to or a site's prominence in a neighborhood, doesn't mean there's going to be somebody who wants to invest in building something to your standards there. Especially something both monumental and non-commercial.

What group exists that could even build something that meets both of those criteria today anyway? American governments can't build anything that looks nice without a bunch of slack jaws showing up complaining about their taxes. We once had a class of aristocrats in this country who overcompensated by building the longest railroad or the grandest, tallest buildings. Now, Earth has fallen out of vogue, and the phallic object du jour is a rocket ship, so billionaires spend their money on that instead of museums, mansions, and concert halls.

Yes, Jane Jacobs is right about what makes a monument and what makes for bad cities. Which is why we need to save the ones that exist, because the days when we built stuff like that just for the sake of it are pretty much over.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 13th, 2018, 6:51 am

It’s not like I think my posts here are going to change this development. I’m just trying to raise awareness about what great city development can be, about what we should think about *next* time.

Isn’t that how we went from car-oriented development back to people-oriented development? Raising awareness and pushing for change.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 13th, 2018, 7:20 am

VacantLuxuries wrote:American governments can't build anything that looks nice without a bunch of slack jaws showing up complaining about their taxes. We once had a class of aristocrats in this country who overcompensated by building the longest railroad or the grandest, tallest buildings. Now, Earth has fallen out of vogue, and the phallic object du jour is a rocket ship, so billionaires spend their money on that instead of museums, mansions, and concert halls.
I completely agree with your sentiment here.

But rather than throw up our collective hands and giving up, I think we should push for more. Isn’t that what Streets.MN is all about?

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby hiawather » June 13th, 2018, 7:22 am

At both the city and state level we fund the arts, from the Legacy amendment to public art/sculptures, couldn't we do something similar with architecture? Perhaps truly interesting and solid architecture isn't possible in this day and age without a public/private partnership. I think it's worth investigating as we are talking about our built environment and this impacts entire neighborhoods- the impact isn't limited just to the people who live in or own these buildings.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Qhaberl » June 13th, 2018, 8:02 am

hiawather wrote:At both the city and state level we fund the arts, from the Legacy amendment to public art/sculptures, couldn't we do something similar with architecture? Perhaps truly interesting and solid architecture isn't possible in this day and age without a public/private partnership. I think it's worth investigating as we are talking about our built environment and this impacts entire neighborhoods- the impact isn't limited just to the people who live in or own these buildings.

I think you make a good point. That is definitely something to look into. A public private partnership to fund the arts would be great. Especially if these works of art can be part of a buildings design.


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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 13th, 2018, 8:14 am

But rather than throw up our collective hands and giving up, I think we should push for more. Isn’t that what Streets.MN is all about?
When there's someone to push, sure. When it comes to demanding better designed roads and for building codes to make future developments human scale and walkable, that's something a government can control. And if they ignore the push, they can be replaced with people who will listen (in theory). We have no recourse to elect a different developer for this project. And codifying that buildings should have better architecture doesn't really work.
At both the city and state level we fund the arts, from the Legacy amendment to public art/sculptures, couldn't we do something similar with architecture? Perhaps truly interesting and solid architecture isn't possible in this day and age without a public/private partnership. I think it's worth investigating as we are talking about our built environment and this impacts entire neighborhoods- the impact isn't limited just to the people who live in or own these buildings.
Now this is a good idea. I like this.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby at40man » June 13th, 2018, 1:20 pm

VacantLuxuries wrote:
June 13th, 2018, 12:21 am
The problem with applying that way of thinking to now is the same struggle Minneapolis went through with the Nicollet Lot. Just because something of note should be built somewhere because of the angles the roads come to or a site's prominence in a neighborhood, doesn't mean there's going to be somebody who wants to invest in building something to your standards there. Especially something both monumental and non-commercial.

What group exists that could even build something that meets both of those criteria today anyway? American governments can't build anything that looks nice without a bunch of slack jaws showing up complaining about their taxes. We once had a class of aristocrats in this country who overcompensated by building the longest railroad or the grandest, tallest buildings. Now, Earth has fallen out of vogue, and the phallic object du jour is a rocket ship, so billionaires spend their money on that instead of museums, mansions, and concert halls.

Yes, Jane Jacobs is right about what makes a monument and what makes for bad cities. Which is why we need to save the ones that exist, because the days when we built stuff like that just for the sake of it are pretty much over.
Wait wait wait - that is a false dilemma. First of all, this isn't a government building so your point about taxpayers complaining is moot. Also, it doesn't necessarily need to be "monumental" -- not everything can or should be competing with the Cathedral of Saint Paul or State Capitol as the most beautiful building in the Twin Cities. There are lots of smaller non-monumental buildings in the Twin Cities that look really nice and create a distinctive environment. For instance, I used to live in a Lowertown loft that certainly wasn't monumental, but it did have some ornamentation and nice brickwork.

Unadorned blank stucco walls punctured with a few windows here and there just smacks of cheapness and looks dreary. We can and should push developers and architects to do better.

Here is an article describing what I mean: Those 'Luxury' Condos Look A Little Drab - WBUR
Someone did a study walking along buildings that was like a poor, undifferentiated surface. It was actually the side of a shopping mall. People's heart rates went up, their cortisol levels shot up. It makes you anxious to be in enervating, boring, repetitive environments, and these projects are being built at such a large scale that they form the urban fabric that people live in and it's not good for them.

Policymakers, pretty much across the board, don't value design. They don't recognize the public health dimensions of good design. And they're really profound.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 13th, 2018, 2:24 pm

Good points, at40man.

But also a statue is monumental. A plaza is monumental. A fountain is monumental. Art can be monumental.

Maybe a developer carves off the very tip, donates it to the city in return for an extra story or two of height, and the city makes a small plaza with art or a monument to ???, which induces the developer to put in space for an ice cream shop, dependent on Mpls & Hennepin narrowing lanes & slowing traffic on Lake & Lagoon, including separated bike lanes, nice lighting, benches, & cast iron bollards…

It’s a cascading effect of place making. It would take years to fully realize. But a building will be with us for the rest of our lives, so replacing them requires careful thought.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 13th, 2018, 2:56 pm

at40man wrote: Wait wait wait - that is a false dilemma. First of all, this isn't a government building so your point about taxpayers complaining is moot. Also, it doesn't necessarily need to be "monumental" -- not everything can or should be competing with the Cathedral of Saint Paul or State Capitol as the most beautiful building in the Twin Cities.
Those weren't the points I was making about this project. Those were criticisms I was leveling at the idea that a non-commercial and monumental structure is something we can realistically expect from any development without some form of public-private partnership or personality involved. Which is an idea that has been a point of discussion in this thread.

I'm not saying we should accept what's been proposed here either, for that matter. Like you said, there's a world of nuance between a bad, bland building and a monument.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Silophant » June 13th, 2018, 6:35 pm


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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Multimodal » June 13th, 2018, 9:09 pm

A walk-up Carbucks?

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Nathan
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Nathan » June 14th, 2018, 12:27 pm

Probably an Arbys. Maybe culvers. ;)

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Qhaberl » June 14th, 2018, 12:32 pm

I would love to see a culvers in uptown. I just hope they can make it an urban style culvers. Maybe not have a drive-through, or if they do need a drive-through, put the drive-through underground. Not exactly sure that even possible, but I know they were doing something similar to that near 42nd and Hiawatha. I’m talking about the dominoes and Starbucks thing.


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Nathan
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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Nathan » June 14th, 2018, 12:35 pm

I don't think they plan to change the building, that's why they're saying it's a new urban pedestrian friendly concept of something...

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby minntransplant » June 14th, 2018, 12:41 pm

If it is Arby's, they better put the hat sign back up. I'll add to the speculation: Taco Bell with booze.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby Chef » June 14th, 2018, 1:43 pm

A Burger King with a disco, like in Paris.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby VacantLuxuries » June 14th, 2018, 2:21 pm

Calling an Arbys with a walkup window and their fancy new renovation look.

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby xandrex » June 14th, 2018, 2:39 pm

If this remains a single retail space but they're increasing it to 9,000 square feet, it seems kind of unlikely that it would be an Arby's or really any fast food restaurant unless it's going to be a really big one. The average Arby's is apparently 3,000 square feet (based on what I could find online). The average McDonald's is 4,000.

For comparison, a Walgreens average 14,500 square feet and Applebee's (or most bland, suburban chains) is 5,500. So I'm kind of curious what sort of businesses fits in between those two in size. The only things I could find online were generally clothing stores, but you don't typically see those be described with words like "uniquely pedestrian-oriented urban configuration."

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Re: Arby’s Island

Postby MNdible » June 14th, 2018, 3:32 pm

Maybe an automobile sales showroom?


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