Block E (archive)

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Nick
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Re: Block E

Postby Nick » August 27th, 2012, 4:56 pm

Last time I was at the Block E theater was in January, and some lovely people were dragged out of the movie by cops. It was the middle of the day on a Sunday. Which by no means is a mandatory sober time for me either, but like many people with disposable income who theoretically like the idea of being downtown, I will go slightly out of my way (West End, etc) to not have to deal with that.

That said, a Mill District theater sounds like a really good idea. Something small, four or five screens, selling alcohol and hopefully some overpriced food. Maybe one of the blocks on the south side of Washington? Might have to put that in the book with Uptown Hotel.

Didier
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Re: Block E

Postby Didier » August 27th, 2012, 5:37 pm

The digital conversion issue is really interesting (for those who didn't see, Star Tribune had a story Sunday). It sounds like Riverview has/is making the transition, but I don't believe it mentioned St. Anthony Main. It would be a shame if it didn't.

One of the changes that will apparently come with digital conversion is theaters will be able to show television. So theoretically you could go to the theater and watch the Super Bowl or whatnot. I doubt that's a game changer, but offers some interesting possibilities.

MNdible
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Re: Block E

Postby MNdible » August 27th, 2012, 7:02 pm

Didier wrote:One of the changes that will apparently come with digital conversion is theaters will be able to show television. So theoretically you could go to the theater and watch the Super Bowl or whatnot. I doubt that's a game changer, but offers some interesting possibilities.
That point in the article was a bit misleading, though. The Riverview, for example, has long hosted viewings of major TV events, but presumably with a lower resolution projector that isn't compatible with the new requirements from the studios.

seanrichardryan
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Re: Block E

Postby seanrichardryan » August 27th, 2012, 8:06 pm

The article also makes it quite clear that the only ones making money from this conversion are the studios, not the theaters.
Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

John
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Re: Block E

Postby John » August 27th, 2012, 9:52 pm

dmdhashw wrote:
nasa35 wrote:The original Skyway theater was perfect. Saw Alien there...oh well.
Would be awesome if someone would reclaim that space. New theater downtown, and Barfly gone? Sounds like a win-win to me.
This is a intriguing idea. Convert it into a center for media arts ( similar to Cowles with dance). The theaters could be part arthouse, part cult, part experimental/avante garde cinema etc. It would cater to many smaller niche audiences but in one complex. It could be the central location for a Twin Cities Film Festival. A very expensive proposition, but very cool.

Aville_37
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Re: Block E

Postby Aville_37 » August 28th, 2012, 5:12 am

It's really a shame downtown is going to lose it's movie theater. I remember one of counsel member Lisa Goodman's goals was to bring back a theater to downtown. Perhaps an IMAX theater would and could still be a bigger draw!

John
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Re: Block E

Postby John » August 28th, 2012, 12:06 pm

Aville_37 wrote:It's really a shame downtown is going to lose it's movie theater. I remember one of counsel member Lisa Goodman's goals was to bring back a theater to downtown. Perhaps an IMAX theater would and could still be a bigger draw!
Another great idea.! Would complement the entertainment district with a new and exciting venue. I wonder if they could convert the existing movie theaters at Block E into this?

Tyler
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Re: Block E

Postby Tyler » August 28th, 2012, 10:24 pm

New idea for block E:
Image
Towns!

John
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Re: Block E

Postby John » August 28th, 2012, 10:43 pm

Tyler wrote:New idea for block E:
Image
Which house do you own?

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Block E

Postby min-chi-cbus » August 29th, 2012, 7:18 am

I love it!! It's "rural meets super-urban" -- everyone is a winner!

mplser
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Re: Block E

Postby mplser » August 29th, 2012, 9:39 am

probably would need more than just 4 houses up there though...

Didier
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Re: Block E

Postby Didier » August 29th, 2012, 1:46 pm

In all seriousness, I hope any new incarnation of Block E involves some change to he roof. With big buildings surrounding it, it would be a really unique location for some sort of patio. But even a green roof would be awesome. Right now if you stay at Graves you get an awesome view of downtown that is kind of marred by an ugly roof just below.

John21
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Re: Block E

Postby John21 » September 14th, 2012, 11:21 am

September 23rd is the last day for the theater according to the Strib.
The curtains will close at Block E's movie theater later this month, leaving downtown without a movie theater for the first time since 2002.

An AMC Theaters spokesman, Ryan Noonan, said Wednesday that the 15-screen theater will close at the end of the day on Sunday, Sept. 23. AMC didn't want to move, but lost a legal fight with building owners earlier this year to extend their lease.

AMC is the latest in a string of retailers to move out of the complex on 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue, which opened in 2002 after receiving a massive city subsidy.

Among the remaining tenants are the Shout House piano bar, Kieran's Irish Pub, Jimmy John's and Starbucks. Of those, only Shout House is located inside the building.

Block E owners Alatus LLC tried usuccessfully this year to get state sign-off on opening a first-of-its-kind casino. The development firm is now moving forward with "Plan B," which involves transforming the complex into heavily branded office space.

An Alatus representative said earlier this month that there was nothing new to report on the progress of "Plan B."

Other tenants that have closed doors at Block E in recent years include GameWorks, Applebee's, the Hard Rock Cafe, Borders books, Bellanotte and Panchero's Mexican Grill.

But the building still holds a 555-stall underground parking garage, which helps owners (including the adjacent Graves Hotel) pay the $1.7 million annual obligation to service debt.

What's become of the building is a far cry from the high hopes city officials had for its success in 2002. In a 2002 op-ed piece in the Star Tribune, then-recent mayor Sharon Sayles Belton wrote, "There's light at the end of the tunnel, and it's coming directly from Block E. Let it shine."

The last time downtown was theatherless was in 2002, during a gap between the closing of the Skyway 6 Theaters and the opening of Block E.

mullen
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Re: Block E

Postby mullen » September 14th, 2012, 11:47 am

it sounds as if the space will become office. if that happens is a huge failure on the part of everyone involved. as if there isn't enough office space for lease downtown as it is.

so the developer's first plan was pie in the sky casino..which they surely had to know wouldn't have much chance of getting through the legislature. second plan is office space...way to think outside the box. just convert it all to parking and be done with it.

i think converting this to office is the easy and cheap way out. considering the city's investment it's sad.

PhilmerPhil
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Re: Block E

Postby PhilmerPhil » September 14th, 2012, 12:00 pm

I went to the Plan-It Hennepin preview at the Central Library the other day and project director said that there is a possible rumor of a possible major tenant for Block E possibly being announced in the next couple months, possibly.

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Nick
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Re: Block E

Postby Nick » September 14th, 2012, 12:04 pm

I dislike the way some of that article (and many others about Block E) was presented. They make sure to include the "massive city subsidy" part but then neglect to spell out that most of the businesses were forced out by Alatus for the casino. Block E as a whole obviously wasn't an amazing idea and I'm not in the habit of apologizing for the various bundles of money we set ablaze in the 90s, but at least give a little credit where credit is due.

John
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Re: Block E

Postby John » September 14th, 2012, 12:06 pm

I remember when Block E was going to be the panacea to revive Hennepin Ave. Well, it revived in spite of its Block E's failure. The new concept is somewhat underwhelming for sure, but maybe that's a good thing. I'm actually glad the movie theaters closed. It's not the right location for that type of entertainment. Has too much appeal for the loitering "thug element" that so pervasive in this area.

MumfordMoses
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Re: Block E

Postby MumfordMoses » September 14th, 2012, 12:07 pm

I remember meeting Mayor Belton at the Humphrey Institute, just after she left office. I applauded her service then told her Block E will ultimately fail due to what I believe the most important question any designer should always answer with such a project: Does the space make you happy & promote positive social interaction? She didn't like my thoughts : ).

nordeast homer
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Re: Block E

Postby nordeast homer » September 14th, 2012, 12:08 pm

First you have the Conservatory, Riverplace, City Center, Gavidae, and now Block E. To say they city was short sited on this is quite the understatement. How the design for block E ever got approved in the first place is beyond comprehension, the traffic flow and access to tennant spaces was soooooo poorly designed that it was set up to fail before a shovel was put in the ground.
The next question needs to be, how much retail can downtown support long term. Should the city put a moratoreum on new retail development until a good chunk of the current retail space is adsorbed?

John
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Re: Block E

Postby John » September 14th, 2012, 12:13 pm

MumfordMoses wrote:I remember meeting Mayor Belton at the Humphrey Institute, just after she left office. I applauded her service then told her Block E will ultimately fail due to what I believe the most important question any designer should always answer with such a project: Does the space make you happy & promote positive social interaction? She didn't like my thoughts : ).
Yes, and the irony is that the design actually promoted loitering and petty crime. A big argument to build this entertainment complex in the first place was reduce the crime so rampant on the old Block E with Moby Dicks! :lol:


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