Motiv Apartments - 2320 Colfax Avenue S

Calhoun-Isles, Cedar-Riverside, Longfellow, Nokomis, Phillips, Powderhorn, and Southwest
min-chi-cbus
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 12th, 2012, 11:51 am

mnmike wrote:
redisciple wrote: Even in Chicago, you don't really find them building 5 story boxes on the quiet residential side streets of the north side(which is what I would say this area compares to most, roughly), why do we need to?
Yes you do! As someone whose family lived in the Northside (as well as myself for a summer or two) and worked for a developer whose niche was small urban infill with 3 to 6 story luxury apartments/condos, I can tell you that there were lots of blocks with housing as short as 2 floors and as tall as 6-10 floors on the blocks AWAY from the major arterial streets. A 10-story building CAN blend in with 2-3 story townhomes/rowhomes (SF detaches homes don't really exist as much in the urban Chicago core like Lincoln Park, but they do exist in some areas). The most beautiful architecture in Chicago, IMO, are the 3-5 floor shotgun-style urban rowhomes that Chicago does 2nd to none (or maybe NYC). That could be an apppropriate urban form for this block in question in Minneapolis. Have 1 "unit" per floor and build 5-10 rowhomes (preferably detached). This is what my parents home was like and aside from the noisy neighbors it was ideal urban living. All of the units would be on the higher end of the market rent. That's the way I'd like to see Minneapolis densify, and it doesn't always have to be on such a large scale -- 3, 2, or even 1 rowhome like this could fill in almost any site on any block in the city (save perhaps the Bungalow Belt).

My only suggestion would be to keep the architecture somewhat consistent with what you are tearing down or what currently exists on the block.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby woofner » October 12th, 2012, 1:55 pm

fotoapparatic wrote:Because there is nothing in this area over 3.5 stories that is more than a block from Hen, Lyn, Franklin.
Would a one-story building be allowed? Why are those the magic streets? If it's because they're 80's ROWs rather than 60' ROWs (Franklin is actually a bit narrower I think), and 6 story buildings are allowed on them, then shouldn't 4.5 story buildings be allowed on the side streets? What's the magic formula? My understanding is 1:1 is the most commonly cited ideal building height-to-street width ratio - anyone care to explain why the ratio should be lower?
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 12th, 2012, 2:43 pm

The angle of the sun would cast a shadow to the other side of the street, but NOT further, on an average day. The sun 45 degrees above the horizon would cast a perfectly diagonal shadow, meaning a 60 foot building would cast a 60 foot shadow at noon on an average day. Anytime NOT noon the shadow would be longer however (from Sept 21 thru March 21 anyways, and shorter at ONE p.m. the rest of the year). Perhaps this is why a 1:1 ratio is less appropriate for Minneapolis vs. say, Atlanta.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby helsinki » October 18th, 2012, 3:15 am

min-chi-cbus wrote:That's the way I'd like to see Minneapolis densify, and it doesn't always have to be on such a large scale -- 3, 2, or even 1 rowhome like this could fill in almost any site on any block in the city (save perhaps the Bungalow Belt).
I have never heard this phrase 'Bungalow Belt' before. It's very appropriate.

What do you think about these rowhomes having the first floor dedicated to retail/restaurants/offices/etc? As I'm sure you all know, there are countless little residential intersections in Minneapolis with commercial buildings on a few of the corners (many of them underutilized currently) 46th & Grand is a good example, albeit more successful than many. I would love to see these small commercial spaces encouraged (for both existing spaces to be used, and for new similar spaces to be built). Do you think small businesses like this in any way upset the 'character' of the neighborhood? (speaking of which, why don't bakeries exist anymore? Someone asked the other day if they could get some decent fresh bread somewhere within walking distance and I said, "Umm, no. We don't seem to do that here." Indeed, I started asking others and they replied that they just don't eat fresh bread - they eat the packaged supermarket sliced kind of bread. What happened? If you put bakeries in these commercial spaces, I think they'd be a runaway success; unexploited market opportunity. )

More on topic, what about setbacks from the sidewalk - should buildings be allowed right up to the sidewalk, or is there a benefit to setbacks? (I personally don't think so - the argument for them is that they make living in the set-back building more quiet, but this would probably be more effectively achieved by calming traffic on the street in question).

Anyway, I am curious what you and others think.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 18th, 2012, 7:34 am

For the corner bakery question, the answer is: people don't walk to get their food anymore.....they drive. And people drive to the one-stop-shops like Target, Wal-Mart or even Cub or Walgreens to get what they need all in one bundle, and a corner bakery would just be another stop for them on the way home. Corner bakeries would work best in an environment where people don't use cars much, and shop for groceries 1-2 days at a time.

This is how I'd prefer to live, btw.....stores that cater to certain specialties (bakery, meats, fruits/vegetables) so I can get my food fresh every day (with little or no preservatives) and I wouldn't need to use a car to get my food from the store to my home.

"Bungalow Belt" is mostly an expression used in Chicagoland to designate the parts of the city that are NOT rowhomes or skyscrapers (like near Midway Airport), but it can be used to describe any neighborhoods or sections of a city mostly comprised of Bungalow-type housing.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby MNdible » October 18th, 2012, 7:52 am

helsinki wrote:Speaking of which, why don't bakeries exist anymore? Someone asked the other day if they could get some decent fresh bread somewhere within walking distance and I said, "Umm, no. We don't seem to do that here." Indeed, I started asking others and they replied that they just don't eat fresh bread - they eat the packaged supermarket sliced kind of bread. What happened? If you put bakeries in these commercial spaces, I think they'd be a runaway success; unexploited market opportunity.
You're right, except for Patisserie 46 at 46th and Grand, Sun Street Bakery at 46th and Nicollet, Turtle Bread at 48th and Chicago... those are the ones that are close to my house.

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Nick
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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby Nick » October 18th, 2012, 8:08 am

MNdible wrote:
helsinki wrote:Speaking of which, why don't bakeries exist anymore? Someone asked the other day if they could get some decent fresh bread somewhere within walking distance and I said, "Umm, no. We don't seem to do that here." Indeed, I started asking others and they replied that they just don't eat fresh bread - they eat the packaged supermarket sliced kind of bread. What happened? If you put bakeries in these commercial spaces, I think they'd be a runaway success; unexploited market opportunity.
You're right, except for Patisserie 46 at 46th and Grand, Sun Street Bakery at 46th and Nicollet, Turtle Bread at 48th and Chicago... those are the ones that are close to my house.
Generally though, helinski is correct. Combining our desires to feel like we live in New York with lots for street front retail all over hasn't meshed well with our desire to then actually do the vast majority of our shopping at a handful of chain stores. Which leads to A) Me cringing during the presidential debates when Romney pretends to talk about small business B) Lots of empty storefronts all over town.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby MNdible » October 18th, 2012, 10:27 am

Nick wrote:Generally though, helinski is correct. Combining our desires to feel like we live in New York with lots for street front retail all over hasn't meshed well with our desire to then actually do the vast majority of our shopping at a handful of chain stores. Which leads to A) Me cringing during the presidential debates when Romney pretends to talk about small business B) Lots of empty storefronts all over town.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m very pessimistic about the future of retailing in this country. Just wait until Amazon starts same day delivery nationwide. I just think that recent evidence suggests that bakeries are actually viable, unlike, say, shoe stores or video stores.

What are the options remaining to fill neighborhood level retail? Some service industry stuff, like hair salons or massage parlors (especially lucrative if they’re fronting for something else). The occasional over-priced gift store. Coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, and bars (where they’re allowed by zoning). Convenience grocery (doubtful). I think that’s about it. These are all things that can effectively emphasize convenience, a high level of customer service, and play off of a nostalgia for neighborhoodiness.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby helsinki » October 18th, 2012, 11:20 am

MNdible wrote:
Nick wrote:Generally though, helinski is correct. Combining our desires to feel like we live in New York with lots for street front retail all over hasn't meshed well with our desire to then actually do the vast majority of our shopping at a handful of chain stores. Which leads to A) Me cringing during the presidential debates when Romney pretends to talk about small business B) Lots of empty storefronts all over town.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m very pessimistic about the future of retailing in this country. Just wait until Amazon starts same day delivery nationwide. I just think that recent evidence suggests that bakeries are actually viable, unlike, say, shoe stores or video stores.

What are the options remaining to fill neighborhood level retail? Some service industry stuff, like hair salons or massage parlors (especially lucrative if they’re fronting for something else). The occasional over-priced gift store. Coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, and bars (where they’re allowed by zoning). Convenience grocery (doubtful). I think that’s about it. These are all things that can effectively emphasize convenience, a high level of customer service, and play off of a nostalgia for neighborhoodiness.
The best options that come to mind are businesses that can't be scaled. I think bars are a great example, and there is good news on this front since it seems that the alcohol-is-sin mentality of the flinty older generation of Lutherans is on the wane. Bars are by necessity local: you can't drive afterwards and public transit is a hassle. The MADD folks might even be supportive. Plus, people like catching a drink on short notice - something that neighborhood bars make possible. Zoning should really catch up with the times on this one.

Otherwise, there are tons of businesses that can't be turned into a chain, taken public, and run into the ground. Sports is one. Yeah, chain gyms exist. But things like yoga and karate are usually smaller scale. And don't dismiss over-priced stores: if people will buy into the crap generic-globalized-Italian-luxury brand (Armani, Gucci, Prada, D&G all use sweatshop labor from Chinese immigrants in Southern Italy - read Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano - nuts), then they will part with their hard earned cash to buy luxury goods in small stores. This promotes small business because you don't need a lot of customers or staff - it lends itself to small scale.

Finally, even if something is a chain, there are many services that need to be close to home. Dry cleaning is a good example - people don't travel long distances to pick up a shirt. Our hub system of commerce (malls, big box) actually makes a lot of everyday errands super inconvenient. The problem with small scale isn't convenience - it's transportation. Listen to the podcast on Streets.mn about re-opening Lake Street. The city-councilmember has to reiterate how the small business owners think that more parking will bring in more customers (when, I would argue - as he does, that better transit would do this a million times better).

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby FISHMANPET » October 18th, 2012, 12:18 pm

I still think there's plenty of room local clothing stores. if i'm buying an expensive piece of clothing, I'd really like to be able to go into a store and try on some different styles and sizes and see how they fit me and look on me. Online can't compete with that.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 18th, 2012, 12:41 pm

helsinki wrote: The best options that come to mind are businesses that can't be scaled. I think bars are a great example, and there is good news on this front since it seems that the alcohol-is-sin mentality of the flinty older generation of Lutherans is on the wane. Bars are by necessity local: you can't drive afterwards and public transit is a hassle. The MADD folks might even be supportive. Plus, people like catching a drink on short notice - something that neighborhood bars make possible. Zoning should really catch up with the times on this one.

Otherwise, there are tons of businesses that can't be turned into a chain, taken public, and run into the ground. Sports is one. Yeah, chain gyms exist. But things like yoga and karate are usually smaller scale. And don't dismiss over-priced stores: if people will buy into the crap generic-globalized-Italian-luxury brand (Armani, Gucci, Prada, D&G all use sweatshop labor from Chinese immigrants in Southern Italy - read Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano - nuts), then they will part with their hard earned cash to buy luxury goods in small stores. This promotes small business because you don't need a lot of customers or staff - it lends itself to small scale.

Finally, even if something is a chain, there are many services that need to be close to home. Dry cleaning is a good example - people don't travel long distances to pick up a shirt. Our hub system of commerce (malls, big box) actually makes a lot of everyday errands super inconvenient. The problem with small scale isn't convenience - it's transportation. Listen to the podcast on Streets.mn about re-opening Lake Street. The city-councilmember has to reiterate how the small business owners think that more parking will bring in more customers (when, I would argue - as he does, that better transit would do this a million times better).
I'd go to a neighborhood dive WELL before heading to Majors or Chi-Chi's to grab a brewski! ESPECIALLY if I could walk there!!!

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 18th, 2012, 12:43 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:I still think there's plenty of room local clothing stores. if i'm buying an expensive piece of clothing, I'd really like to be able to go into a store and try on some different styles and sizes and see how they fit me and look on me. Online can't compete with that.
My wife said the same thing (in response to this simulated clothing movement that some stores are trying to create....basically trying on a pair of jeans in a simulator and then buying them online, to reduce building and mx costs). Some things just NEED to be sold in person (most things actually, IMO). This era of "social networking" has killed the art of the salesman and I for one do not think it's a step in the right direction (but rather, a shortcut to higher profits.....in the short run)!

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby MNdible » October 18th, 2012, 1:06 pm

min-chi-cbus wrote:My wife said the same thing (in response to this simulated clothing movement that some stores are trying to create....basically trying on a pair of jeans in a simulator and then buying them online, to reduce building and mx costs). Some things just NEED to be sold in person (most things actually, IMO). This era of "social networking" has killed the art of the salesman and I for one do not think it's a step in the right direction (but rather, a shortcut to higher profits.....in the short run)!
You and your wife may say this, but millions of people shopping on Amazon disagree with you. And anyway, clothing (or luxury goods, as somebody else suggested) isn't a very good fit for neighborhood scale retail anyway. They both want to be located in an environment where a number of small stores complement each other, so that's why you get a node like 50th and France that masquerades as a neighborhood node but is really serving a wider regional market.

Dry cleaners, on the other hand, I agree make sense.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby FISHMANPET » October 18th, 2012, 1:13 pm

That's also true, there's not going to be an Allen Edmonds on every street corner, I'd much rather stuff like that be in central districts so I can do all my upscale shopping in one place, but day to day needs can be local.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 18th, 2012, 3:13 pm

MNdible wrote: You and your wife may say this, but millions of people shopping on Amazon disagree with you. And anyway, clothing (or luxury goods, as somebody else suggested) isn't a very good fit for neighborhood scale retail anyway. They both want to be located in an environment where a number of small stores complement each other, so that's why you get a node like 50th and France that masquerades as a neighborhood node but is really serving a wider regional market.

Dry cleaners, on the other hand, I agree make sense.
I'll trust my fashion-forward wife over a random dude online......I think people like to use Amazon to buy things cheaply online, but not always clothes (esp. expensive ones).

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby MNdible » October 18th, 2012, 8:02 pm

Did you just call me a random online dude?

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby Nick » October 18th, 2012, 8:07 pm

MNdible wrote:Did you just call me a random online dude?
I enjoy your increased sassiness lately

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 18th, 2012, 8:11 pm

MNdible wrote:Did you just call me a random online dude?
Yes.....are you not a dude? If so, my bad.

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby dmdhashw » October 19th, 2012, 6:19 pm

min-chi-cbus wrote:
MNdible wrote:Did you just call me a random online dude?
Yes.....are you not a dude? If so, my bad.

"I'm a dude, she's a dude, he's a dude, we're all dudes..."

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Re: 2316-2320 Colfax Apartments

Postby twincitizen » November 10th, 2012, 3:24 pm

To be discussed at this week's LHENA Zoning & Planning Committee meeting: https://www.google.com/calendar/render? ... output=xml


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