Dinkytown Hotel - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
twincitizen
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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby twincitizen » March 20th, 2014, 6:52 am

EOst wrote:If Doran could provide guarantees that the same kinds of businesses would really, truly be able to come back to the rebuilt space, I think cool a lot of the community opposition.
I brought up the same point with a local developer('s employee) last night. They don't necessarily have to guarantee, for example, that Mesa and Camdi would be in the new building. What developers ought to be doing is finding new spaces for the small/local businesses that they displace. It's not required of them to do so, but it would probably cut the opposition to development in half if people knew that their favorite businesses were relocating right down the street or a few blocks away. If Doran had helped line up spots for say, more than 50% of the businesses he's displacing (rather than zero), I think we'd be in a better place today. Obviously there are other issues with this particular case, including the building itself or the district possibly being designated as historic, but I feel like the example is still useful.

How much less opposition to the Opus project would there been if Podium and Book House already had new spaces lined up by the time word of the development got out? What if Steeple People and Chi Tailors (and whoever else) already had new spots lined up in the Franklin-Lyndale area?

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby Tom H. » March 20th, 2014, 8:08 am

Low-rent spaces are great and all (for unique shops, restaurants, etc.), but purposely inhibiting redevelopment of low-rent (read: low-value) properties to keep them around is not really a winning formula for any neighborhood. As a thought experiment: imagine Camdi/Mesa gets redeveloped and a Chipotle moves in first-floor. This likely pushes the Qdoba (one block over) out of business, opening up that space for some new restaurant tenant. As Jane Jacobs outlined so many years ago, a neighborhood of mixed-age buildings is going to be more resilient than either one full of all-new construction, or all 19th-century construction.

For what it's worth, the Chipotle in Stadium Village is in one of the older buildings around the Oak & Washington node.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 20th, 2014, 8:26 am

I think another fair question would be to ask all current landlords to guarantee the type of small businesses they lease to won't ever stop doing so - a pretty tall order and one that isn't has no precedent given the chains in old buildings right there in the core. I guess if area housing supply never changed (like the entire MHNA boundaries), it's possible there'd never be enough demand for more student-focused retail and commercial. But new housing has been flooding the area for a decade now, and pushes by the neighborhood to place new, big apartments along 15th, near the freeway, or anywhere else not in the core doesn't magically make those people not hungry for food instead of used books. I, too, love the more unique restaurants. I ate at Burrito Loco, Shuang Cheng, Mesa, Al's, and Blarney way more than the chains. But I still ate at Potbelly/Brueggers/Qdoba/McD's, and hiked over to Chipotle in SV once in a while to mix it up as well.

Like twincitizen said, it would be great if there were some lower rent commercial spaces on the fringe w(with a healthy vacancy rate) Doran could assist existing businesses into moving when displaced. Unfortunately, for 60 years, zoning and parking and limits on Dinkytown growing naturally/slowly made this impossible today - surely not Doran's fault (and there may be many property owners in the area still alive who may have had a hand in it). If preserving the ability for small, locally-owned, eclectic shops is truly a major goal of folks who oppose new dev, perhaps this is an opportunity for a tradeoff - allow the demolition of (non historic on their own merits) structures in the core, but allow changes to parcels on the edge. Require the developer to pay for XX% of constructing these low-value commercial spaces. There's still a good amount of surface parking in the 4-block core and right outside it, plus some empty (never used) green space just east of 412 Lofts. Just a thought.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 20th, 2014, 12:14 pm

I'm sure there are reasons -- ranging from financial to architectural -- but I personally don't know why adaptive re-use was not considered for this location as a tangible solution to the problem of keeping the historic character of Dinkytown while also adding a new component to it. I think especially for urban hotels that having a historic fascade with a modern interior is SO cool and could have been a slam dunk here!

*Edit: Oh, what's the use? There would STILL be people rallying to "save Dinkytown"! :roll:

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby MNdible » March 20th, 2014, 12:43 pm

But when you come right down to it, the only thing you're really talking about is the facade of this building, and while it's nice, it's just three utterly simple brick portals. I'm just not sure that it makes sense to complicate the project to preserve a little bit of simple brickwork.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 20th, 2014, 10:13 pm

It does when that preservation is literally the only thing keeping the developer from getting his project approved.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby exiled_antipodean » March 21st, 2014, 1:10 pm

twincitizen wrote: How much less opposition to the Opus project would there been if Podium and Book House already had new spaces lined up by the time word of the development got out?
The Book House relocation was an interesting study in zoning itself. They wanted to relocate to 2720 University Ave, a block from the Prospect Park light rail station, but couldn't get the property re-zoned from OR1 to C3 or C2. As you can see it's a nice old building on a fairly prominent corner, with display windows and probably better accessibility to a wider population than in Dinkytown. Right opposite a post office, which is probably important for a bookstore.

You can also see from the Google Maps link there is already a computer store there, but because the variance for that commercial use in the OR zoning is specific to that business the Book House couldn't just come in and start operating as a bookstore. Apparently it was going to take them several months to get the zoning changed, and they needed to relocate quicker than that.

I relate this tale to illustrate and suggest that there are probably quite a lot of hidden barriers to easy re-location than we imagine.

(and yes, one wonders why the council can't just upzone all of that stretch of University Ave, rather than waiting for planning applications)

https://www.google.com/maps/@44.971915, ... e0!6m1!1e1

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby FISHMANPET » March 21st, 2014, 1:14 pm

Rezoning that property to C3 or C2 would have been an illegal spot zoning! :roll:

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby MNdible » March 21st, 2014, 1:31 pm

Does anybody remember where the old Embers used to be that was located along this stretch of University? Seems like I should be able to remember, but I was usually three sheets when I was there.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby mulad » March 21st, 2014, 3:12 pm

The Tea House used to be a Baker's Square. Was U Garden something else before being a Chinese joint?

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby MNdible » March 21st, 2014, 4:13 pm

It was on the south side of University, probably on one of the blocks between 25th and 27th. It was a fairly distinctive building, as I vaguely recall.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby Unity77 » March 27th, 2014, 11:36 am

Apparently Kelly Doran informed the members of the Dinkytown Business Association that being it doesn't collect membership dues or elect officers, it doesn't exist. He stated, “You don’t legally have a board or a right to vote on this [plan]... The [DBA] doesn’t exist.”
http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/m ... exist.html

This is hilarious. If the historic designation study for the business district goes forward, I'm hoping he sues.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby lordmoke » March 27th, 2014, 12:02 pm

Can someone please explain to me what exactly the grounds for a lawsuit would be here? I'm not seeing it.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby Unity77 » March 27th, 2014, 12:34 pm

lordmoke wrote:Can someone please explain to me what exactly the grounds for a lawsuit would be here? I'm not seeing it.
Really?

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby EOst » March 31st, 2014, 7:11 am

City planner unconcerned
Minneapolis city planner Haila Maze, the lead author of the small-area plan, labeled the scenario a “technicality.” She said it likely won’t affect the small-area plan or the ongoing historical study.
“While the organization wasn’t formally formed, there was a bunch of people calling themselves a business association or acting as one,” she said. “Since there was no formal action required or taken by that group, there’s no action to overturn.”
Maze said she’ll remove all references to the DBA in the small-area plan and replace them with Dinkytown “business and property owners” and that it will be clear in the plan that the DBA doesn’t have legal standing.
“It’s still the same people,” she said. “They just aren’t legally formulated.”
The DBA’s illegitimacy would only be an issue for the city if it had active contracts with the business group, and Maze said it doesn’t, to her knowledge.
http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2014/ ... town-hotel

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby seanrichardryan » June 3rd, 2014, 1:04 pm

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby twincitizen » June 3rd, 2014, 1:43 pm

I wonder how the City's study of 1319 4th St is coming along. If I recall correctly, they said it would take 12-18 months to complete. The building is placed under interim protection while the study of its historic-ness takes place. The other buildings were approved for demolition.

Perhaps Kelly Doran will try to build something around it? Maybe he can acquire the post office building instead and demolish that, leaving 1319 in place. That would be almost ideal, no? The post office building and the adjacent building housing Hideaway & Magus are almost certainly not worth of preservation. I'd want whatever replacement development to include nearly as many retail storefronts however, rather than just 2 or 3 larger spaces. If Doran went back to a residential building here, it would be the only new project opening in Fall 2016, as of right now.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby exiled_antipodean » June 4th, 2014, 8:29 am

The 12-18 months is insane and outrageous, and really backs up the article in the Strib a few weeks ago about non-construction costs adding significantly to the cost of building.

We're talking about a couple of buildings for which the basic history is already known. A lot of the material about the buildings will be held in the Minneapolis city records (though I hear those are poorly organized), or in a small number of other local repositories such as the Historical Society and newspaper archives. The Star Tribune is digitized up to 1922, so it can be searched. The amount of full-time work it would take to research the building's historical significance shouldn't exceed two months, and probably a month. Maybe consultation and meeting time is needed, so add a month. That's three months.

I'm sure with 12-18 months they'll do a thorough job, and discover something unique about the buildings. But if the historical significance of a building isn't known beforehand, or uncovered quickly it strains credulity to argue that it should be saved because an extensive search turned up something.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby twincitizen » June 5th, 2014, 6:28 am

From F&C's article:

Doran is not buying 1319 4th St. His purchase option on that building has expired and will not be renewed. His near term plan is to tear down the house on 13th Ave for parking and hold onto 1315 4th St. No development planned at this time.

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Re: The Graduate - (1300 block of 4th Ave SE)

Postby Silophant » June 5th, 2014, 7:09 am

As much as I'm against tearing down a century-old house for surface parking, it would be nice for the entrance to the expanded lot to move to 13th and off of 4th. Hopefully that's a condition of the demo permit. Or does the permission he got for the Graduate still apply?


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