Suburbs - General Topics

Twin Cities Suburbs
gpete
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby gpete » May 7th, 2014, 8:05 pm

Wedgeguy wrote:Was on HWY100 the other day, when I saw a new building going up at the SE quadrant of the 100/494 interchange area. Is that another hotel or apartment building?
SE corner, next to La Quinta? That's a very slow-moving apartment project. There's been some discussion in another thread about this and a couple other Normandale Lake-area developments.


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tabletop
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby tabletop » May 15th, 2014, 7:54 pm

I was driving through Rosemount on Monday and there was a monster of a crane at the refinery lifting a huge building. Came back today and it looked like they were finished with the lift. That crane is the largest and tallest piece of equipment at the refinery, looks like it belongs in an open pit mine or shipyard or something.

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TommyT
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby TommyT » May 15th, 2014, 9:41 pm

Is there a thread out there for the future of the vast emptiness behind the west end? Seems like prime real-estate that I can't believe hasn't been developed yet.

Tcmetro
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Tcmetro » May 15th, 2014, 9:52 pm

If you are referring to the land at the SW corner of 394 and 100, I believe the plans are to build a high-rise office complex whenever it becomes viable.

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Anondson
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Anondson » May 15th, 2014, 10:03 pm

Behind? You refer to the space between the buildings and TH 100? That is planned to be commercial along Utica. The initial plan was to run 16th through to the frontage road access under 100, but when Golden Valley objected (residents in the South Tyrol Hills neighborhood believed it would cause more traffic to pass through) the West End developer changed plans to have the entire Golden Valley area of West End be a parking ramp for the future commercial towers that will be built on Utica. I recall seeing one early proposal when 16th was drawn as connecting through, that there were to be commercial towers in some of the Golden Valley land.

Golden Valley was terribly short sighted pushing for no connection for 16th.

MNdible
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby MNdible » May 29th, 2014, 4:29 pm

Here's a hard-hitting study that will help you to identify where to purchase your next home. That's some pretty rock-solid methodology that they've employed.

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Anondson
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Anondson » May 29th, 2014, 4:48 pm

Spot what is wrong...

mamundsen
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mamundsen » May 29th, 2014, 7:37 pm

MNdible wrote:Here's a hard-hitting study that will help you to identify where to purchase your next home. That's some pretty rock-solid methodology that they've employed.
All 10 of their best cities.... NO! They are all on the fringe of the developed metro (or past it IMO). Basically this is saying, continue suburban sprawl. BOO!

uptowncarag

Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby uptowncarag » May 29th, 2014, 8:12 pm

MNdible wrote:Here's a hard-hitting study that will help you to identify where to purchase your next home. That's some pretty rock-solid methodology that they've employed.
Solid research was done here. Number 2 on the list is Otsego. 30 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Home to large employers such as the Mayo Clinic. Umm, okay.

sad panda
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sad panda » May 31st, 2014, 8:11 pm

4. Population change from 2010 to 2012 made up 33.3% of the total score. A higher percent change earned a higher score. The 2010 population comes from the 2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for all places in the state, Table DP 05. The 2012 population data comes from the 2012 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates for all places in the state, Table DP 05. NerdWallet calculated the percent change.

Only cities with 10,000 or more residents were included in the study.
Yep, that pretty much means only exurbs can score well.

Rich
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Rich » July 14th, 2014, 1:13 pm

Apparently the vast majority of new jobs, especially blue collar and service jobs, are being created in the suburbs. And lack of transit to those jobs is a growing problem.

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/266955181.html

WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 14th, 2014, 2:40 pm

Rich wrote:Apparently the vast majority of new jobs, especially blue collar and service jobs, are being created in the suburbs. And lack of transit to those jobs is a growing problem.

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/266955181.html
The problem is real but everyone in the strib is taking a terribly blinkered view; the suburbs need HOUSING for blue collar workers, not bus lines.

Rich
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Rich » July 14th, 2014, 3:30 pm

That’s a great point. Unfortunately, too few jobs are being created in the city for these folks. So out of necessity they take whatever employment they can get, and it’s highly likely to be in the suburbs. I’m curious about what an urbanist’s solution might be. Do we build more housing near the jobs (as WHS suggests) and further accelerate population growth in the suburbs? Or do we allow people to live in the city and commute to the suburbs via expanded transit options?

acs
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby acs » July 14th, 2014, 3:36 pm

More white collar office workers living or working downtown will lead to more service and retail jobs downtown to serve them. However, the industrial or light industry jobs are never coming back downtown and from an environmental standpoint that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Suburban Outcast
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby Suburban Outcast » July 14th, 2014, 4:43 pm

Yeah if industrial mainly stayed in the center cities, places like the North Loop or the Mill District would not be the way are today. Though I think that we should still try to keep the majority of the blue collar jobs inside or at least near the 494/694 beltway.

WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 14th, 2014, 8:06 pm

Suburban Outcast wrote:Yeah if industrial mainly stayed in the center cities, places like the North Loop or the Mill District would not be the way are today. Though I think that we should still try to keep the majority of the blue collar jobs inside or at least near the 494/694 beltway.
I agree. I think what confounds urbanists is that they forget that it's possible to change living patterns -- e.g., disrupt the current arrangement where the concentrations of poverty and entry-level workers are in the cities and middle-class white families inhabit the suburbs -- while simultaneously pursuing greater density and less sprawl across the metro. The urbanists I know tend to freak a little when you start talking about policies that specifically enable certain groups people -- any groups of people -- to move to the suburbs. But building more affordable workforce housing in the suburbs won't push out sprawl the way white flight did, it'll just help scramble the current patterns of economic and racial segregation, and, if pursued metro-wide, actually reduce the incentive for the middle class to sprawl further and further out in an attempt to escape urban life.

The infuriating thing here is that the Met Council has policies on the books to achieve all these things. It has a very elaborate fair share affordable housing policy which it has determinedly ignored for the better part of two decades, and powerful tools to restrict further growth outside the metro, which it doesn't use.

David Greene
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby David Greene » July 14th, 2014, 8:33 pm

WHS wrote:
Rich wrote:Apparently the vast majority of new jobs, especially blue collar and service jobs, are being created in the suburbs. And lack of transit to those jobs is a growing problem.

http://www.startribune.com/local/north/266955181.html
The problem is real but everyone in the strib is taking a terribly blinkered view; the suburbs need HOUSING for blue collar workers, not bus lines.
Except that the housing by and large won't be within walking/biking distance of the jobs. At least not anytime soon. I get the ideal, but we need real solutions today, not 50 years from now, which is the realistic timeframe for the kind of upheavel you're talking about. We're going to need the transit.

And I really don't think it's better to concentrate the poverty in the suburbs any more than I think it's a good idea to concentrate it in the cities. What's wrong with having people live within the cities and first-ring suburbs, industrial jobs beyond that and quality transit to move people? Or, why is it more wrong than what you suggest? I'm just conducting a thought experiment, not dismissing your ideas.

WHS
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby WHS » July 14th, 2014, 10:28 pm

Well, there's a few things: I'm not sure why the housing can't be relatively proximate to the jobs, since most of these suburbs aren't actually that physically large. And while some transit is obviously still going to be necessary, figuring out ways to move people around a smallish suburb is just a considerably less Herculean undertaking than ensuring everyone in the metro area can get to the suburban job centers in under an hour or two, at the appropriate times for blue collar shifts (i.e. first thing in the morning or late at night).

And more broadly, while neither approach is easy or effortless, focusing almost exclusively on transit leads to an absurd conclusion: a region in which a handful of extremely disadvantaged neighborhoods act as warehouses for struggling blue collar workers, who are imported into the suburbs each morning and out each evening. In the meantime, they're mostly denied the benefits that generally accompany living in a prosperous area, while the two- or three- or four- hour round trip is a constant obstacle to continuing employment and eventual advancement.

It's because we haven't acted to avoid this arrangement that "transit equity" keeps coming up. Every time someone writes to the strib and complains that SWLRT isn't an "equity train," remember that this objection is in part possible because it's imperative that regional transit serve the function of exporting workers to job centers. A better housing policy would, if anything, open up broader transit possibilities.

The time frame isn't as long as you think. And it's not like transit goes up overnight, either: the light rails have taken decades to come to fruition and years to build. In the same span, we've subsidized many thousands of affordable housing units and undertaken to preserve many more. If we'd been building in the suburbs all along it would have been more than sufficient to transform the region; even starting today, a new housing policy will bring workers to the suburbs a lot sooner than the SWLRT. Houses get built a lot faster than trains.

As for simply swapping urban ghettos for suburban ghettos, well, I honestly just don't think we're at a point where that's an issue. For years, housing and transit policy has been premised on the idea that North or, say, Frogtown are somehow vulnerable to gentrification. Nothing of the sort has occurred. What you do see is growing concentrations of poverty in certain first-ring suburbs, but those also aren't the suburbs with a booming job market or affordable housing shortage.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mplsjaromir » July 15th, 2014, 8:35 am

I am generally skeptical of the idea that there will be anymore than a token number of affordable housing units built in rich suburbs. The whole raison d'etre of the suburbs is so rich people can separate themselves from poor people. The region's rich western suburbs have carefully executed their land use policies to ensure high real-estate prices, any sort of material change to this would require a huge change in attitudes.

I realize that the Met Council does in theory has the capability to require cities in our region to allow more affordable housing to be built. Without a doubt stiff opposition will come from those who have put much of their net in worth in expensive housing. Any perceived threat, real or imagined that might lower the value of their investment would be met with costly, divisive litigation and reactionary political action. At least NIMBYs in Minneapolis feign concern for the working poor, I would imagine outright hostility would be normal reaction in the suburbs.

I also do not believe that it is what is best for the working poor. The suburbs are not conducive to walking or transit, and its not a problem that can be easily fixed. The pattern in which the suburbs are physically built limit the effectiveness of transit, and destinations are too far to be comfortably walked. For example Maple Grove and Eden Prairie are very similar in size and population, both are about 60% the land area of Minneapolis with about 15% of the population. They are not small areas and they are not densely populated, bad combinations for transit. If the retort is, 'many of low income individuals drive', why even bother with building housing in the immediate area?

To me it seems as though some suburbanites (service industry business owners) would like access to low wage workers. While the majority of suburbanites (home owners) do not want to see low income people more near their investments. This argument reminds me of how some business owners cryin' because there are not enough 'skilled workers', which just means that the business owners want trained workers at low wages.

My advice would be for suburban service industry owners to either become affordable housing advocates and push for trailer parks and apartment buildings near their establishments or pay increased wages so that their workers are compensated for their time and trouble commuting to sprawling areas.

Do not get me wrong, I would laud the building of more affordable housing anywhere. I think that most suburbs do an okay job of allowing affordable housing. It is no coincidence that the Strib article only had examples from western suburbs. I do not think that the Met Council should use its limited political goodwill to ensure that the suburbs have cheap labor. If the suburbs want to have low-income people they should allow it, it would counter productive to try and force it on those areas.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby min-chi-cbus » July 15th, 2014, 9:11 am

WHS wrote:What you do see is growing concentrations of poverty in certain first-ring suburbs, but those also aren't the suburbs with a booming job market or affordable housing shortage.
Except arguably Brooklyn Park, which has both higher concentrations of poverty AND a burgeoning job and housing market along the Hwy. 610 corridor. It's kind of unique BECAUSE of that freeway's development though.


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