University of Minnesota - General Topics

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
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Nick
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University of Minnesota - General Topics

Postby Nick » June 10th, 2012, 2:38 pm

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I went and did quite a bit of picture snapping at and around the U of M today. It's nuts how much this school has changed in just a couple years, and how much it will change in the next couple years. Below are five (!) tower cranes in one picture from the top of the 4th Street Parking Ramp.
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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby spectre000 » June 10th, 2012, 4:21 pm

The cranes are indeed a nice sign. Lots of economic activity.

Thanks for all the photo updates!

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby pfreyre » June 10th, 2012, 7:33 pm

I hope you guys don't get mad at me, but I would like to play the role of pessimist/devil's advocate: I think all this development is unsustainable.

I don't have figures for U of M salaries of regents, professors, staff, etc. However, I do have figures for US student loan debt from The Federal Government and Sallie Mae, and I would like to argue that all of this recent development is being subsidized by students taking on more debt to finance their ever-increasing cost for obtaining an education.

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Nick
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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby Nick » June 10th, 2012, 9:58 pm

Pfreyre, I bet you'd love this article!

I wouldn't really disagree with you that higher education right now is mid-bubble. That said, when the dust settles, actual schools like the University of Minnesota will still be there. Right now there's an overwhelming (and misguided) desire for everyone everywhere to "go to college", so we've been stretching our definition of college quite a bit. There's a place for liberal arts, there's a place for engineering and medicine, and there's a place for technical schools. Those three things are very different. Right now there are a lot of kids in their early 20s with Anthropology degrees from Moorhead State who are frustrated in the job market, but really people should have told them from the get go that their degree isn't really...a thing.

Which is super elitist and rude to say in casual conversation, but like I said, we created a system where everyone has to "go to college". Most of my degree program (Urban Studies) at the U of M was common sense, but I had to go get in debt to get a piece of paper to prove that I have an interest in it. I don't imagine that the system we have right now will keep going for much longer.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 11th, 2012, 9:35 am

I got (I SHOULD say "received" :D ) a degree in Business with emphasis (Majors) in Finance and Real Estate, and a Minor in City and Regional Planning, in hopes of being a developer or city planner of some kind. After school, my first SEVEN years of professional experience had NOTHING directly to do with real estate (development) OR city planning....I used my degree (which was very mathematical-based) to get any job I could in hopes I could work through the system to get where I needed to be SOME DAY. Today I finally work for a real estate developer.....in the Energy & Sustainability field, where I now have almost 3 years of experience. Go figure! But this was the route I HAD to take to get to where I WANT to be, but it's been MUCH slower than say, an Accounting or Engineering profession, where I'd just work up the corporate/career ladder like I'm supposed to. In reality, most people either don't know exactly what they want to do or can't get there right away, so your degree is just a stepping stone to the next level of life.

In retrospect, I learned how to learn in college, and not how to develop a career (like I thought I would in college)....and I have found that few people can take their degree and apply it directly to their profession (save Doctors, Accountants, etc.). If you want a guarantee, get a degree in Accounting -- if you're good at it you'll be sitting on six figures within 5 years! Otherwise, your career will take time to form, so be patient!

The student debt crisis is independent of the rental demand boom we're currently experiencing though, and like another person said, the U of M isn't going anywhere, regardless of the student debt bubble.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby woofner » June 11th, 2012, 10:04 am

Regarding the sustainability of U of M development, it's worth noting that at least two of the cranes are for R & D buildings. My understanding is that the U makes a good chunk off patents.

Considering how insanely expensive room & board is, I would think that the dorms pay for themselves. In fact, they're probably paying cash for the new dorm with money they got from renting out broom closets at Territorial. To add to this purely speculative post, I'd guess that the U is fairly underdormed, so any enrollment drop would have to be clifflike in order to affect occupancy.
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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby Nick » June 11th, 2012, 10:52 am

redisciple wrote:Regarding the sustainability of U of M development, it's worth noting that at least two of the cranes are for R & D buildings. My understanding is that the U makes a good chunk off patents.
Technically just one is, the Nanotech building, but the Cardiovascular center probably did a little earlier. The res hall construction has two cranes. But you are right, and building research facilities at the U for the hard sciences is one of the best investments we can make right now as a state.
redisciple wrote:Considering how insanely expensive room & board is, I would think that the dorms pay for themselves. In fact, they're probably paying cash for the new dorm with money they got from renting out broom closets at Territorial. To add to this purely speculative post, I'd guess that the U is fairly underdormed, so any enrollment drop would have to be clifflike in order to affect occupancy.
Accurate. Off the top of my head (I was an RA for a year in T-Hall/a campus tour guide for three years), the U doesn't have room for more than seven or eight thousand students on campus in residence halls, and there's another thousand or so in University owned apartment buildings. That is tricky though, because while living on campus the first year is a great idea (about 85 percent of students do), most move out after that and the freedom is good for them. It's also hard to work out first year residency numbers because of how many students move into a dorm room and then move out to a fraternity or sorority after three months. So a place like T-Hall does basically have people in broom closets the first few months but generally will have single students in double rooms by the end of the year.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby FISHMANPET » June 13th, 2012, 7:04 pm

Two of those cranes are the expansion to the rec center, which is probably part of the skyrocketing cost of tuition, since it's being built to "Keep up with the Joneses" in the Big 10.

I'll also agree with Nick about the "need" to go to college, and also that the UofM is nothing like for profit universities that are driving up student loan debt without really giving the students anything. I watched this Frontline special about it, pretty informative and eye opening: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/collegeinc/

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Current University of Minnesota Projects

Postby Shawn » June 30th, 2012, 1:55 pm

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby mulad » July 7th, 2012, 10:38 pm

Anyone know what's going on at this block on the northeast corner of Fulton and Oak Streets by the UMN's Superblock? Looks like about half the block has been cleared over the past several years. The vertical aerials seem to show one less property than the 45-degree shots from the previous year.

Ronald McDonald House expansion?


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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby seanrichardryan » July 7th, 2012, 11:54 pm

I think the University was purchasing those properties. Was that the church they were trying to demolish?
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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby mulad » July 8th, 2012, 9:46 am

Hmm, I don't think I've heard anything specifically about this church (Stadium Village Church, formerly Bethany Presbyterian) -- there are a lot of them near campus, particularly near Dinkytown, so it's hard to keep track. I just remember having ire for this one back when I was a freshman at the U, staying in Territorial Hall with a view of the place from my window. I was there when the McNamara Alumni Center was beginning construction, and jackhammering started early every day, except Sunday -- but that was when the church held services... Ugh.

Anyway, thanks for the hint, though -- it gave me something to search for. Here's a Minnesota Daily article from 2009.

http://www.mndaily.com/2009/02/05/block ... ing-ground

The church actually claimed at the time they were looking to expand, though they had been contacted by the UMN's real estate office. It's harder to use eminent domain on a church -- changes at other church sites have mostly been due to decisions higher up in the hierarchy of that particular denomination.

That's known as "block 11", with "block 12" just to the east. On older Bing imagery, I saw block 12 and thought it was a park -- it has become a parking lot relatively recently. It seems that there have been plans for biomedical facilities of one sort or another for the university. The original plans for an ambulatory care center on block 12 fell through, but maybe it'll end up on this block 11 instead.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby MNdible » July 9th, 2012, 9:41 am

mulad wrote:It seems that there have been plans for biomedical facilities of one sort or another for the university. The original plans for an ambulatory care center on block 12 fell through, but maybe it'll end up on this block 11 instead.
I'm pretty sure that this is back on again, still on block 12.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby Nick » July 9th, 2012, 11:18 am

I wonder what, if anything, they'll do to try to connect this to the rest of the University? The parking lot blocks seems miles away from the current Medical School complex, even though it's just a few blocks. The Superblock is a pretty good Berlin Wall of drunk underclassmen for doctors and researchers to walk through. Since they've already bought so much land on the church block, I wonder if they'll try to put something there at the same time (Tenth residence hall?) and pull out the Gopher Way tunnels that far east? The current system stretches to the Fairview ramp across the street from Centennial, in theory it wouldn't be to hard to link into the tunnels that connect the four Superblock residence halls.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby Nathan » July 9th, 2012, 11:34 am

It would be awesome if they renovated Pioneer hall (just east of the current facility) With glass roofs over the courtyards, completely renovate/re purpose the spaces, and build new dorms on the two blank lots. just to keep things consistent and compact...

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby MNdible » July 9th, 2012, 12:19 pm

I can’t cite anything but my cloudy memory, but I do seem to recall that in master planning exercises, the University envisions that part or all of the Superblock eventually gets replaced by expanded hospital buildings.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby mulad » July 9th, 2012, 12:57 pm

Bleh. Well, from the perspective of architecture, I wouldn't mind if Territorial and Frontier went away, or maybe even Centennial. I'd get fairly pissed if they tore down Pioneer, though. I like the superblock as a place, however -- I'm not one for sports, but there were always people shooting hoops or playing volleyball (at least in the warmer months). It definitely could have been put together in better ways, though.

Employees traverse the gap between the hospital and the parking ramp on the east side all the time. Getting patients over there from the main complex might be a challenge, though I'm not sure if it would matter if it's really meant more as a clinic where people would only really receive outpatient care or whatever.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby MNdible » July 9th, 2012, 4:31 pm

Here's a link to the 2009 Master Plan, which no longer mentions messing with the Superblock, so perhaps it was a passing fancy. It does show the University long term moving to acquire or control most of the land north of Fulton and East of Huron. See specifically pages 67 and 68.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby Nick » July 9th, 2012, 4:35 pm

MNdible wrote:Here's a link to the 2009 Master Plan, which no longer mentions messing with the Superblock, so perhaps it was a passing fancy. It does show the University long term moving to acquire or control most of the land north of Fulton and East of Huron. See specifically pages 67 and 68.
Aw, that makes me miss Judith.

Also, I'm chaining myself to T-Hall if anyone even thinks about tearing down that wonderful, godforsaken dump.

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Re: University of Minnesota

Postby MNdible » July 9th, 2012, 4:47 pm

A little more digging reveals this 2004 Academic Health Center plan that does indicate the removal of some of the Superblock residence halls, now presumably obsolete.


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