Suburbs - General Topics

Twin Cities Suburbs
min-chi-cbus
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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby min-chi-cbus » January 17th, 2017, 5:54 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:146-unit development proposed in a current corn field just east of the small park n ride lot along Cedar Ave (which may or may not become a Red Line station in the future): http://finance-commerce.com/2017/01/mis ... lakeville/ Over 300 parking spaces provided for 206 total bedrooms.

The article links to it, but there's a massive development going on mostly across Cedar Ave - building 1,080 units. Most of those are single family homes, but they range in lot widths (as low as 55' wide and up to 75' wide) plus a few smaller sections of row townhouses and some duplex townhomes. This development also jumps across Cedar and has more row homes and small-lot SFHs just to the south of that P&R and the proposed apartment.

It's nice to see a 4th-ring suburb thinking about/allowing stuff other than 0.35 acre and up single fam homes, and placing what little is built next to express buses is about all we can ask. But it's super telling that planning commissioners think corn fields is where a 3-story apartment building should go, and even more telling that despite Lakeville's popularity (schools, parks, etc) this would be the first apartment built in many years.
It's still a whopping 0.5 acre/unit density, which is still very low.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » January 18th, 2017, 10:53 am

RailBaronYarr wrote:This P&R is not the proposed terminus, it would go all the way down to 215th St (the eastern edge of the Airlake industrial park): https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/Transportat ... ummary.pdf I have argued in other thread(s?) that the Red Line would do better to end in downtown Lakeville even if this stop is retained.
Right, sorry my language was not very precise. I meant that Lakeville Cedar was the planned terminus of the *current* Red Line — what was built out in 2012 or 2013. 215th St Station is a future extension, and would require road upgrades. With the existing nice P&R, MVTA could extend to Lakeville Cedar tomorrow if they had the operational funding to do so.

I agree that terminating in downtown Lakeville (via Old Hwy 50) would make more sense than going straight down to 215th.

(Also, it's curious they've named the future station "215th St" Station, when local parlance is County 70. Sort of the opposite issue of the "Co Rd 73 Park and Ride", located along what I have always understood to be popularly called Hopkins Crossroad.)

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby seanrichardryan » February 19th, 2017, 7:46 am

So long, surface lots: Parking areas redeveloped in Twin Cities suburbs
http://m.startribune.com/so-long-surfac ... tion=local
“Development is great, but the parking ... is even more valuable,” Excelsior City Manager Kristi Luger said. “It’s hard to weigh ... what has the greatest value.”
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » February 19th, 2017, 11:16 am

That quote is painful, but the trend is really positive. Clearly in certain communities, it's the developer pushing it more than the city.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » March 18th, 2017, 10:17 pm

From the Sunday Strib: Unlikely new hot spots in Twin Cities housing market: Affordable areas near urban amenities are in demand – like Richfield.

https://www.startribune.com/new-index-f ... 416500793/

Seems that affordable "urban light" areas are appealing, both inner-ring cities like Richfield and Crystal, but also neighborhoods like Standish in Minneapolis.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby mattaudio » March 22nd, 2017, 8:51 am

My takeaway when I read that on Sunday wasn't that people prefer "urban light" over "urban" in terms of form, but rather in terms of price point.

It seems like the market is speaking, and it is valuing walkable, amenity-rich urban neighborhoods more than ever. Time to pull out all the stops that make building great places illegal, so we can actually build what people want again. Only then will walkable, amenity-rich neighborhoods be for everyone rather than just the elites.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » March 22nd, 2017, 10:11 am

I read Sean's comment to mean that many current buyers prefer "urban light" over "suburban", not what you inferred.

Some buyers are choosing Richfield precisely because it is suburban but not too suburban or remotely located. Other buyers are choosing Richfield because they can't afford S/SW Minneapolis right now and it's the next best thing (and you might get slightly more house/yard per dollar, but not much). As to how that split breaks down, I have no idea.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » March 22nd, 2017, 1:29 pm

twincitizen wrote:
March 22nd, 2017, 10:11 am
I read Sean's comment to mean that many current buyers prefer "urban light" over "suburban", not what you inferred.

Some buyers are choosing Richfield precisely because it is suburban but not too suburban or remotely located. Other buyers are choosing Richfield because they can't afford S/SW Minneapolis right now and it's the next best thing (and you might get slightly more house/yard per dollar, but not much). As to how that split breaks down, I have no idea.
Sort of. I just meant it has appeal in its own right, not necessarily over either completely urban or over completely suburban. I think it's notable that some of the hottest areas in Minneapolis (except downtown) are also in that "urban light" category, like Standish or Kingfield. Anyway, you certainly can't ignore that Champlin and Otsego are also in the top 5 areas, either.

I have a somewhat more charitable account of the choice for Richfield. Some people certainly are choosing primarily on price, but I think people do like the everyday amenities that many S Mpls neighborhoods are cut off from -- like the retail, 66th, jobs along 494, etc. I literally know three couples who chose Richfield for its proximity to a nice Super Target. Maybe that wouldn't be a deciding factor on my own list, but I think some people really prize that convenience.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby xandrex » March 23rd, 2017, 11:00 am

sdho wrote:
March 22nd, 2017, 1:29 pm
I have a somewhat more charitable account of the choice for Richfield. Some people certainly are choosing primarily on price, but I think people do like the everyday amenities that many S Mpls neighborhoods are cut off from -- like the retail, 66th, jobs along 494, etc. I literally know three couples who chose Richfield for its proximity to a nice Super Target. Maybe that wouldn't be a deciding factor on my own list, but I think some people really prize that convenience.
Given how Richfield and South Minneapolis blend pretty well into each other (giant highway aside), proximity to a Target probably is quite a selling point for many homebuyers (I assume taxes are a bit cheaper too). Once you go south of Lake, Minneapolis is under-retailed—you’re pretty lucky if the major intersection near you has all four corners actively used. It’s amazing how there are quite a few major retail centers just outside the city.

I’m not in a position to buy property now, but I’ve already mentally crossed off a lot of Minneapolis neighborhoods in my future search just because you have to leave the area to do anything.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 23rd, 2017, 11:32 am

This is why I'm not ashamed to admit I like the Greater Uptown area. While many people bemoan the "Southdaleification" of the area, I really don't mind it. I like having a (small, mixed-use, parking-lite) Target and Aldi on the way. I like having several supermarkets nearby that carry fresh produce/milk and reliably have other stuff stocked on their shelves. I like that there are a healthy number of regional or national chain restaurants around who focus more on speed of service/convenience/price than other (good! but different) things you get at local one-off places. But also, contrary to the narrative, there are still plenty of those unique shopping/dining/service experiences (even if some of them swing toward the higher end) within walking distance, especially when you get outside the core - something Richfield can't say as easily.

tl;dr Uptown is great, it has what the suburbs have and more plus better transit/bike access and a wider range of housing options. We should have built more of Uptowns and less of [Quarry, Midtown Target, etc]. Come live here, xandrex.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby xandrex » March 23rd, 2017, 11:36 am

RailBaronYarr wrote:
March 23rd, 2017, 11:32 am
tl;dr Uptown is great, it has what the suburbs have and more plus better transit/bike access and a wider range of housing options. We should have built more of Uptowns and less of [Quarry, Midtown Target, etc]. Come live here, xandrex.
As a resident of Whittier, I'm already here. ;) And, yes, I'm an unabashed lover of the Greater Uptown area. Amenities, amenities, amenities.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » March 23rd, 2017, 11:57 am

RailBaronYarr wrote:
March 23rd, 2017, 11:32 am
This is why I'm not ashamed to admit I like the Greater Uptown area. While many people bemoan the "Southdaleification" of the area, I really don't mind it. I like having a (small, mixed-use, parking-lite) Target and Aldi on the way. I like having several supermarkets nearby that carry fresh produce/milk and reliably have other stuff stocked on their shelves. I like that there are a healthy number of regional or national chain restaurants around who focus more on speed of service/convenience/price than other (good! but different) things you get at local one-off places.

tl;dr Uptown is great, it has what the suburbs have and more plus better transit/bike access and a wider range of housing options. We should have built more of Uptowns and less of [Quarry, Midtown Target, etc]. Come live here, xandrex.
I agree Uptown is a nice combination of regional amenities in a form that is still actually pleasant to live in and near.
But also, contrary to the narrative, there are still plenty of those unique shopping/dining/service experiences (even if some of them swing toward the higher end) within walking distance, especially when you get outside the core - something Richfield can't say as easily.
Fair point -- although I think the independent places in Richfield sometimes get overlooked because they swing toward the lower end, or the urban form is poor at their locations. Truthfully, I can't think of any newly built spaces that have non-chains in them. I suspect they need to be fairly high-priced to afford the rent in a new space. Southdale area has a few independent places in new/high end locations, but that tends to get urbanist scorn, and in any case, there's certainly not the affordability angle to living in Edina.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 23rd, 2017, 12:09 pm

I agree with you, Sean - the CNU-fueled narrative (but also stuffy city dwellers who hate the suburbs) about suburbs and chains does overlook the many strip malls that have relatively small spaces that may have once held chains but now are cheap enough for small businesses to take hold (including many immigrant-owned businesses in quite a few communities). It's a shame this isn't acknowledged more often - that the ability for small/local businesses to find places has more to do with the age of the space than if it's located in a car-oriented place vs walkable/transit oriented. I don't know that the larger format box stores will have the same adaptability (really, a strip mall is just a drivable version of the streetcar commercial building with a small parking lot out front instead of meeting the sidewalk).

Not sure if you're talking new apartments in Greater Uptown and a lack of non-chains or Richfield. But I can think of several in Uptown(ish) - Marche/Mercado in Lime, New Bohemia in Blue, Coup d'etat in Walkway. They'll obviously need to be higher-end establishments to afford the rent, but they do happen.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » March 23rd, 2017, 12:32 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:
March 23rd, 2017, 12:09 pm
Not sure if you're talking new apartments in Greater Uptown and a lack of non-chains or Richfield. But I can think of several in Uptown(ish) - Marche/Mercado in Lime, New Bohemia in Blue, Coup d'etat in Walkway. They'll obviously need to be higher-end establishments to afford the rent, but they do happen.
Yeah, sorry that wasn't clear. I specifically meant that I couldn't think of a non-chain in a newly built space in Richfield. I have seen examples in Uptown, and to a lesser extent in the Southdale area, but as you note, they're on a high-end skew. There are certainly some thoroughly renovated independent places in Richfield (like Salon Junallo and Fireside Pizza on Penn), but I haven't seen that same sort of presence in the larger mixed-use sites.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby LakeCharles » March 23rd, 2017, 2:10 pm

xandrex wrote:
March 23rd, 2017, 11:00 am
Given how Richfield and South Minneapolis blend pretty well into each other (giant highway aside), proximity to a Target probably is quite a selling point for many homebuyers (I assume taxes are a bit cheaper too). Once you go south of Lake, Minneapolis is under-retailed—you’re pretty lucky if the major intersection near you has all four corners actively used. It’s amazing how there are quite a few major retail centers just outside the city.

I’m not in a position to buy property now, but I’ve already mentally crossed off a lot of Minneapolis neighborhoods in my future search just because you have to leave the area to do anything.
There are still a fair number of these areas in Minneapolis. 38th & Nicollet has retail on all four corners, including a hardware store, convenience store, bars, restaurants, coffeeshops, take-out, hair salons, thrift store, butcher shop, etc (and a full service grocery store 4 short blocks east). 48th and Chicago is a bit different: no hardware store or grocery/convenience stores, but adds a liquor store and more clothing and bike shops. 54th and Lyndale, 50th & Penn, 50th & 34th, are all similar (some better, some worse). If you count anywhere within half-mile of those as near than that's at least 5 square miles south of Lake that are near a major intersection with plenty of retail.

Richfield total is only 7 square miles total, and most of that is not really that close to retail. If you live at 11th and 73rd, for example, the only thing within a half-mile of you is Galaxy Food & Video, and the only other things within a mile of you are Outback, Denny's and Superamerica. Not exactly murderer's row there.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby xandrex » March 23rd, 2017, 3:29 pm

LakeCharles wrote:
March 23rd, 2017, 2:10 pm
There are still a fair number of these areas in Minneapolis. 38th & Nicollet has retail on all four corners, including a hardware store, convenience store, bars, restaurants, coffeeshops, take-out, hair salons, thrift store, butcher shop, etc (and a full service grocery store 4 short blocks east). 48th and Chicago is a bit different: no hardware store or grocery/convenience stores, but adds a liquor store and more clothing and bike shops. 54th and Lyndale, 50th & Penn, 50th & 34th, are all similar (some better, some worse). If you count anywhere within half-mile of those as near than that's at least 5 square miles south of Lake that are near a major intersection with plenty of retail.

Richfield total is only 7 square miles total, and most of that is not really that close to retail. If you live at 11th and 73rd, for example, the only thing within a half-mile of you is Galaxy Food & Video, and the only other things within a mile of you are Outback, Denny's and Superamerica. Not exactly murderer's row there.
You're right that those places exist (though many of the developed nodes where you can perform most day-to-day tasks are priced above average). But there are plenty of dead nodes throughout the city, and Minneapolis is remains under-retailed. There are still large swaths of South Minneapolis that are just...homes. Sure, they'll have an occasional commercial building at the corner, but they are places where you're getting in your car to get to most services.

And that was kind of the point I was making: To homebuyers (especially those who are agnostic about whether they remain within the city boundaries), if they've already got to drive to get groceries, why not choose a location where they get bit more bang for their buck (and pay lower property taxes to boot) and that's close to Target so you can one-stop shop? This doesn't just apply to Richfield. Look just beyond the borders of Minneapolis on just about every side and you'll find fairly large shopping areas (albeit of the suburban variety) nearby: Cedar Point, the Hub, Southdale, West End, Shingle Creek Crossing, Silver Lake, Rosedale. I have to imagine a lot of these places are filling a void that Minneapolis' periphery are not getting from their commercial nodes.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby sdho » March 23rd, 2017, 5:02 pm

xandrex wrote:
March 23rd, 2017, 3:29 pm
This doesn't just apply to Richfield. Look just beyond the borders of Minneapolis on just about every side and you'll find fairly large shopping areas (albeit of the suburban variety) nearby: Cedar Point, the Hub, Southdale, West End, Shingle Creek Crossing, Silver Lake, Rosedale. I have to imagine a lot of these places are filling a void that Minneapolis' periphery are not getting from their commercial nodes.
Yes. I'm ambivalent about how much of this is good or bad. On the one hand, great for the first ring to give business a captive customer base from across the border. On the other, it tends to push the most unattractive land uses to be concentrated right around the edge of Minneapolis. I love having Target a mile or two away, and would love even having it a couple blocks away -- but I wouldn't want it next door.

The pinnacle of isolated residential Minneapolis has got to be Linden Hills. Of course, there are many great destinations in downtown Linden Hills, and a few at 44th & France. But they skew to high-end, limited hours, and niche items. There's one transit line, and if you're driving, it's perfectly centered between 100, 35W, Crosstown, and 12. Even on local streets, Richfield Rd is your only way towards the closest destinations in Uptown and downtown. It seems like a beautiful place, and awesome to be by the lakes, etc. But for your daily needs, it's at least 20 minutes to drive anywhere.

(I realize people still pay handsomely to live in Linden Hills. But if I had that money to spend, I'd probably pick somewhere in the NE quadrant of Edina, closer to 50th & France, or closer to Southdale.)

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby MNdible » March 23rd, 2017, 5:07 pm

sdho wrote:
March 23rd, 2017, 5:02 pm
The pinnacle of isolated residential Minneapolis has got to be Linden Hills. Of course, there are many great destinations in downtown Linden Hills, and a few at 44th & France. But they skew to high-end, limited hours, and niche items. There's one transit line, and if you're driving, it's perfectly centered between 100, 35W, Crosstown, and 12. Even on local streets, Richfield Rd is your only way towards the closest destinations in Uptown and downtown. It seems like a beautiful place, and awesome to be by the lakes, etc. But for your daily needs, it's at least 20 minutes to drive anywhere.
It's actually not very far -- 2.6 miles from downtown Linden Hills to the SLP Target, and closer to the Trader Joe's. If it weren't for the absurd number of stop signs on 38th Street west of France, it would be a very easy drive. But, yes, point taken.

I'd say that there are neighborhoods in Northeast that are much more disconnected.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby EOst » March 23rd, 2017, 7:30 pm

This is a periodic reminder that in 1996, there was a study which said Minneapolis had more than twice as many commercial nodes as its population could support. This was, of course, before the restaurant boom and Minneapolis's present growth spurt, but it was also before the retail collapse, so YMMV.

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Re: Suburbs - General Topics

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 24th, 2017, 12:59 pm

MNdible wrote:
March 23rd, 2017, 5:07 pm
It's actually not very far -- 2.6 miles from downtown Linden Hills to the SLP Target, and closer to the Trader Joe's. If it weren't for the absurd number of stop signs on 38th Street west of France, it would be a very easy drive. But, yes, point taken.
Yeah, living at 36th/Henn (basically), it takes us 18 minutes to drive to Southdale Target via Richfield Rd/Xerxes. And I drive under the speed limit. So not that bad, but certainly more than most Mpls residents. But, the point stands that yes this is one of the least car-accessible place in Minneapolis. See this map. To be honest, I think many in LH find this to be a feature and not a bug - you're guaranteed to have much less cut-through traffic and you're isolated from any regional draws (aside from niche shopping and restaurants - and even then they complain about the impacts).


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