Snelling and University TOD: "SmartSite Redevelopment"

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Wedgeguy
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Wedgeguy » February 13th, 2014, 10:33 pm

mamundsen wrote:The article said CVS and I do recall the item being a sticking point when it was built years ago.
I spent more time in the city at that time. People wanted the entrance on University. There was a long debate about it. So either they have already built into the current build a possible entrance which is very well hidden behind some pretty bleak exterior walls. Or they will pay the price for saying that they would do something and they did not do it. So the entrance may already actually be somewhat framed in so it will just be taking down the current part of the façade and putting in the doors and ramp to the door. Or it will cost them big dollars to do a major over haul. So as they say, sometimes it is better to plan for the future than to cut costs in the present.

Tcmetro
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Tcmetro » February 13th, 2014, 10:40 pm

Met Council and City of St Paul are assembling the former bus garage, the shopping center, and another lot into a redevelopment opportunity.
http://metrocouncil.org/News-Events/Pla ... unity.aspx
http://www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/index.aspx?NID=5359

Silophant
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Silophant » February 13th, 2014, 10:57 pm

Think they can put together a 6-story stick luxury apartment building that covers the whole 34.5 acre site? I bet they can.

Wedgeguy
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Wedgeguy » February 13th, 2014, 11:03 pm

Silophant wrote:Think they can put together a 6-story stick l****y apartment building that covers the whole 34.5 acre site? I bet they can.
They can call it the Marshall East.

mattaudio
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby mattaudio » February 14th, 2014, 7:33 am

34.5 acres.... they're going to get more big box. Split it up!

Wedgeguy
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Wedgeguy » February 14th, 2014, 8:46 am

I'd be for something more like the West End, with less emphasis on parking ramps. More like the creation of a city grid with more emphasis on the pedestrian side walks with the store fronts more like a main street feel. Get some Retail, residential, and entertainment all in the area and make it a mini city center, not to be confused with the Awful City Center.

Snelbian
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Snelbian » February 14th, 2014, 9:16 am

The claim (I don't recall if this was made by the UPDC, city, or Met Council) is that the project will be based on the Snelling Station Area Plan. That means new streets, big office buildings, public plazas and fountains, residential and small retail. I'll believe it when I see it.

twincitizen
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby twincitizen » February 14th, 2014, 9:47 am

Regarding big box, I think it's possible that the redevelopment will not contain a full grocery store. Cub and SuperTarget are just blocks to the east. Whole Foods is moving to Snelling/Selby, just blocks to the south. Rainbow foods recently announced the closings of more stores in the metro. They are not a healthy chain right now. The owner of the current shopping center is wise to see this.

Walgreens already owns the American Bank I think and can basically do whatever they want on that site, including the drive through (since it's already there...they're not proposing a new one in a transit station area). If they are indeed talking to the the City and Met Council about getting involved in the larger redevelopment project, that is really, really good news. There's little incentive for them to do so, and it will undoubtedly delay the opening of their new store. They're a current tenant in the Rainbow-anchored shopping center.

Unless we're trying to attract new national big-box retailers to this area (god forbid Home Depot or something), I'm hopeful that that type of business is not strongly desired to be a part of this. I do think there is a place for increased "junior box" retailers in the redevelopment, including ones that are there today like Office Depot.

Getting new streets through the site and figuring out a district parking solution are going to be the keys that set the tone. This is going to take a lot of money from Met Council and the city. Thank god we already own most of the property...

Overall, I am optimistic about this potential redevelopment, despite all of the reasons to be skeptical. There are some really good folks at Metro Transit/Met Council involved in the planning effort and I do have faith on their ability/desire to push for the best possible result.

mamundsen
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby mamundsen » February 14th, 2014, 10:04 am

Wedgeguy wrote:
mamundsen wrote:The article said CVS and I do recall the item being a sticking point when it was built years ago.
I spent more time in the city at that time. People wanted the entrance on University. There was a long debate about it. So either they have already built into the current build a possible entrance which is very well hidden behind some pretty bleak exterior walls. Or they will pay the price for saying that they would do something and they did not do it. So the entrance may already actually be somewhat framed in so it will just be taking down the current part of the façade and putting in the doors and ramp to the door. Or it will cost them big dollars to do a major over haul. So as they say, sometimes it is better to plan for the future than to cut costs in the present.
The cost of the new entrance and access improvements is $450,000!!! I'd say they were betting that they could get by without it and not the LRT, city, or future Walgreens is forcing them to do it. That is a LOT of money and likely a full redo of that corner.

lordmoke
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby lordmoke » February 14th, 2014, 10:07 am

I wonder what the chances are that Walgreens would just open in the old bank building rather than constructing something new. It's kind of a cool structure. They could turn that front lawn into a patio/ garden, even.

mamundsen
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby mamundsen » February 14th, 2014, 10:08 am

My thoughts on the large redevelopment...

I'd love to see something like the West End too. Although I think it could be even better with NO traffic on the roads through the middle. I hate how congested it can get out at WE on weekend nights. Everyone tries to get into the underground parking.

I also question the different population dynamics. There is a significant difference between the social status of the average West End client vs the Midway neighborhood. How do you do that transition naturally?

mattaudio
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby mattaudio » February 14th, 2014, 10:32 am

Exactly, this could be an opportunity to design spaces for people, not cars.

Aville_37
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Aville_37 » February 14th, 2014, 9:12 pm

Movie theater. There really isn't a large theater nearby.

bptenor
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby bptenor » February 14th, 2014, 9:24 pm

As long as I can still go to Big Top, I'll all for this.

Wedgeguy
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Wedgeguy » February 17th, 2014, 8:58 am

My similarity to the West End is more for the Street grid, stores facing the sidewalks and houses being part of the mix. There does not need to be a movie theater, Rainbow, but they do need to make the area pedestrian friendly. With the LRT station right there. many people will be walking thru that area and not driving.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby RailBaronYarr » February 17th, 2014, 10:50 am

Since Snelling and University are already fairly major thoroughfares, one with a LRT line and one with forthcoming enhanced bus, you would think the public realm for this entire area could be very pedestrian-focused. I think 1 district parking facility should be enough - the West End has, what, 2 giant parking structures plus acres of surface parking adjoining the area big-box sites? This is a product of not being in a transit-friendly, neighborhood-connected location. I-94 may not be ideal, but Snelling, Pascal, and Hamline all connect peds to the south, and great grids with housing sit just west and north of the Snelling-University.

I think the area is more or less conceptualized: http://www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/DocumentCent ... /View/7501 but.. it would be great to see the city step out a bit and really focus on filling in the area with much smaller live/work structures abutting public rights of way of 15-45' wide. I know I pushed this in the Ford Plant site thread, but a traditional city layout could be a huge way to maximize land potential here, especially with so much of the site more or less a greenfield situation. This was built within the last decade: https://www.google.com/maps?t=m&ll=44.9 ... sic&dg=opt Do we have the guts to try it here?

Wedgeguy
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Wedgeguy » February 18th, 2014, 9:03 pm

I'm for the similar retail, street oriented, parking to be below grade or wrapped by retail and set back from the street. Housing towers to get density, don't allow long blank walls!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bring in things that are not already there. We already have Cub and Super Target so we don't need another grocery store. Really don't need another pharmacy, but could keep the Big Top Liquor redeveloped into the complex. With Menards so close I don't think a hardware store will make it. You need to have stores that the people in the neighborhood will come too. You can't make this area a West End duplicate.
Closer to University and Snelling I think a midrise office tower would work very well. Would like to hear your ideas on how this large area can be redeveloped to fit better into the fabric of the city.

Minnehahaha
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Minnehahaha » February 18th, 2014, 9:57 pm

Wedgeguy wrote:We already have Cub and Super Target so we don't need another grocery store. Really don't need another pharmacy, but could keep the Big Top Liquor redeveloped into the complex. With Menards so close I don't think a hardware store will make it. You need to have stores that the people in the neighborhood will come too. You can't make this area a West End duplicate.
Don't assume that the neighborhood demographics are represented solely by whatever housing you might see driving down University... There are plenty of folks around here who would love to see that miserable Rainbow replaced by a Lunds. After all, the NIMBYs on Grand Avenue would never accept anything new other than another stinky candle shop. Let's welcome retailers of a wide variety (and not just bargain basement) to that mysterious land north of 94!!

Wedgeguy
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby Wedgeguy » February 18th, 2014, 10:17 pm

Minnehahaha wrote:
Wedgeguy wrote:We already have Cub and Super Target so we don't need another grocery store. Really don't need another pharmacy, but could keep the Big Top Liquor redeveloped into the complex. With Menards so close I don't think a hardware store will make it. You need to have stores that the people in the neighborhood will come too. You can't make this area a West End duplicate.
Don't assume that the neighborhood demographics are represented solely by whatever housing you might see driving down University... There are plenty of folks around here who would love to see that miserable Rainbow replaced by a Lunds. After all, the NIMBYs on Grand Avenue would never accept anything new other than another stinky candle shop. Let's welcome retailers of a wide variety (and not just bargain basement) to that mysterious land north of 94!!
You have a new Whole Paycheck coming to Selby and Snelling to take care of that demographic. Plus Kowalski's is closer to where that demographic lives.

mamundsen
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Re: Snelling and University

Postby mamundsen » February 18th, 2014, 10:23 pm

This area still has a long way to go. I was trying to give it the benefit of the doubt and frequented the LA Fitness on University often. Then I had my locker broken into and my credit cards stolen. They racked up $1500 in two hours. When I reported it to the police and LA Fitness they both said I need to be more vigilant at that location.


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