Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby FISHMANPET » July 7th, 2016, 2:40 pm

Kinda weird that nothing has moved south of 31st St, despite meager zoning allowing some commercial development. Maybe the land is too valuable to make C1 or OR1 new construction pencil out? Considering all the new construction literally across 31st, I find it hard to believe that there's almost no demand for any commercial whatsoever here.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 7th, 2016, 2:41 pm

I guess I'm confused how one would expect new commercial buildings or commercial uses in otherwise non-commercial buildings without commercial zoning to allow it in the first place? You made the point that demographics and density would support more commercial activity than we have today. Kinda hard to make the case that a lack of old streetcar commercial buildings is what's holding things back on Hennepin when there are actually commercial uses in former single family homes right now (hair salons, vets, shops, and to a lesser commercial degree insurance/law firms). What makes you think more of this wouldn't happen if we suddenly zoned the rest of the properties C1 or C2 or OR1?

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby EOst » July 7th, 2016, 3:31 pm

I'm skeptical that a city which--not so long ago!--concluded that it had twice as much retail space as commercial demand needs to rezone large chunks of land from residential to commercial.

In fact, I think you could make a case that the lack of commercial zoning south of 31st on Hennepin is a significant factor in pushing investment onto nearby corridors like Lake, Lyndale, and Nicollet.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 7th, 2016, 3:44 pm

I guess, let's say I'm definitely wrong and the density and incomes of the people living within an easy walk of the Hennepin corridor, but maybe a less easy walk of the Lake/Lyndale/Nicollet and Hennepin north of 31st corridors don't matter (I'd like a restaurant or pub or ice cream shop or diner near me in South CARAG, but hey what do I know) and we zone for commercial or office or whatever on Hennepin (a place with frequent bus service, not some random side street in Standish or Fulton where existing city policy doesn't even direct residential density let alone commercial activity). And the result is that nobody builds or converts anything to commercial uses because no demand. What's the harm? I'm earnestly asking, is there a downside? We might get a drive-through Taco Bell or gas station? Why not pair an expansion of allowed commercial activity to PO Overlay that limits the stuff we don't like?

I'm *very* skeptical of relying on an individual study that says demand for X is or isn't there so don't allow zoning for XYZ more generally as a matter of public policy. I'm not certain that any study could have predicted who might want to open a hair salon or consulting firm or daycare or Bogarts Donuts clone or any other very specific business that may or may not be able to afford the rents on busy commercial streets like Lake or Lyndale or Nicollet or Hennepin and maybe escaped that consulting firm who did a study. I dunno.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby amiller92 » July 7th, 2016, 3:55 pm

EOst wrote:I'm skeptical that a city which--not so long ago!--concluded that it had twice as much retail space as commercial demand needs to rezone large chunks of land from residential to commercial.
Why? Even if overall demand doesn't match overall supply, you can have poor distribution of supply such there are localized shortfalls.

Moreover, if you change the zoning and there's no demand, then nothing changes. Oh well.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby FISHMANPET » July 7th, 2016, 4:45 pm

Also that claim about having too much commercial space was specifically about neighborhood commercial nodes, that doesn't mean that every individual node is also over supplied.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby EOst » July 7th, 2016, 5:17 pm

I'm not saying that retail on Hennepin wouldn't do well, quite the opposite. But I'm saying that the relative scarcity of commercial land in the Uptown core has the incidental effect of helping to increase demand on Lake and other nearby corridors, many of which still have vacant brownfield lots and abandoned buildings at prominent intersections. What benefit is there for the rest of the city in encouraging more investment to flow into one already-wealthy area?

(Sidenote: What percentage of customers in the average CARAG-area business are local customers, not driving from somewhere else? For most restaurants and retail I'd assume it was well under half, but I have no non-anecdotal evidence.)

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby Nick » July 7th, 2016, 6:38 pm

David Greene wrote:Never even heard of Milkjam.
Preposterous.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby seanrichardryan » July 7th, 2016, 7:45 pm

If there was a pent up demand south of 32nd, wouldn't we be seeing some site assembly and varience requests? I mean, the zoning code isn't the evangelical Bible.
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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 7th, 2016, 7:49 pm

There was a study done for the 36th/Bryant node that was never released that said ~65% of all patrons arrived by foot or bike. I'd assume that a good chunk of the ones coming by car are actually within walking distance but are too lazy. I'd be willing to bet that number varies by business type - hardware stores and barbers and pet supply stores and c-stores draw heavily from a 0.5-1 mile radius, whereas something like Our Kitchen or Gigi's (and definitely Bogarts) draws more from the greater city. Even if many of them are meeting friends who did walk or bike. Anecdotally, this is my perception: very few people getting out of their cars to eat at a restaurant. For your more Lake St type business, I'm sure the draw is far more regional, again depending on the type. I find it hard to believe Uptown Vet or Perennial Cycle or Canteen are pulling in people from beyond ECCO or CARAG, but maybe I'm crazy.

Correct me if I'm wrong if this isn't your sentiment, but it's interesting to hear someone who I perceive to believe there's basically unlimited demand for residential, and that more luxury development begets more luxury development... now say that any new res/commercial space elsewhere in Uptown will leave those prime Lake/Hennepin/Lyndale sites brownfield. I don't really think they're in the same market. I'm talking about relatively tiny new development like the Truce Juice 2-story building (built in 2003 - not a legacy streetcar building) or those SFHs converted to something else. Or, yeah, maybe even a 3-4 story building with some small spaces on the ground floor (more like the Butter Bakery building on Nicollet than anything going up in the #luxe market of Uptown). Things that likely couldn't afford rent in those brownfield redevelopments. Everyone gets all concerned that small, unique, and/or local businesses are getting priced out of the area. Cheapo was lucky enough to find a place on Nicollet (replaced by a corporate chain that, oddly enough, will serve the immediate neighborhood more than Cheapo did). But it'd be nice if other restaurants or small shops that feel the squeeze have somewhere to go, or if anyone aspiring to start something up could just do so (CARAG and ECCO are severely lacking daycare centers, FWIW). Or, heck, build some missing middle housing.

TANGENT: Maybe I'm alone in thinking this, but I feel like there are many locations in Minneapolis (Uptown, LynLake, Nic/Lake, Hiawatha/Lake, Old St Anthony, etc) that should be more than neighborhood activity centers with a little bit of regional retail draw. There are so many small-to-mid size offices across the metro that would have made great sense to be in such a walkable, bikeable, transit-served area like the ones I mentioned. Yes, Minneapolis should continue making downtown a job powerhouse, but I just don't know, that's not gonna be enough. Anyway that idea would require actual planning and investment in things like Midtown rail that extends well into SLP, a better N-S transit spine to any of those locations, etc etc but yeah. Uptown should be a bit more like Southdale/Centennial Lakes. From a "getting more people who live in Minneapolis or St Paul to bike or bus to work" standpoint, multiple job clusters are better than just downtown. Or at least, better than relying on sites in the 2nd+ ring. Four-to-six-stick apartment buildings don't really scream TOD the way 15 story office, hotel, etc towers surrounded by dense residential do.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby David Greene » July 7th, 2016, 8:19 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:I find it hard to believe Uptown Vet or Perennial Cycle or Canteen are pulling in people from beyond ECCO or CARAG, but maybe I'm crazy.
Been going to Uptown Vet for ~12 years now because Dr. Smith is awesome. So there's one.

Just had to put that plug in.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 8th, 2016, 7:38 am

Maybe I should have clarified that the southern part of the Wedge is included in the walk shed of Uptown Vet and Lyndale for Canteen?

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby amiller92 » July 8th, 2016, 8:44 am

EOst wrote: What benefit is there for the rest of the city in encouraging more investment to flow into one already-wealthy area?
Well, if people could walk to a local retail outlet rather than drive...

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby EOst » July 8th, 2016, 9:59 am

I'd argue that 36th and Bryant proves my point. It's a neighborhood commercial node with mostly neighborhood businesses (hardware store, barber shop, coffee shop, etc.) and a handful of businesses with a wider draw (esp. Bogart's). Let's say that the other 35% of that breaks down 60:40 for auto and transit, and generously estimate that half the autos and a third of the bus riders are coming from less than a mile. That would mean (assuming some longer-distance bikers) that around a quarter of the node's business comes from outside the surrounding neighborhood.

You can mess with my figures if you want, but I'm sure the numbers are higher for more prominent or attractive nodes. A bar or restaurant at LynLake has to draw from way more than the surrounding area to justify the rents they're paying. That 25% isn't necessarily huge, but it's a lot of money flowing into an area that is already wealthy and overwhelmingly (70-80%) white.

The scale matters greatly. If all this meant were a coffee shop at 34th and Hennepin and a few other similar businesses scattered through, I wouldn't complain. But 36th & Bryant type businesses generally can't afford new construction rents. A new commercial area on south Hennepin therefore would really only appeal to the sorts of businesses which can pay those rents because they have a wider customer base, but which are by the same token location-agnostic (within reason). Those are businesses which would do more good for the wider city if they were elsewhere.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby FISHMANPET » July 8th, 2016, 10:06 am

If we don't build new buildings we'll never have old buildings.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby Nathan » July 8th, 2016, 10:59 am

I really think that the trustone (formerly 1st bank of the lakes) lots/drive thrus and the actually construction of the intersection at 31st act as a huge barrier towards meandering south from the main uptown commercial node. And even for cars. When uptown parking is totally full, you drive a block south on hen and there is free open parking on the street.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 8th, 2016, 11:48 am

Man, I don't even know what we're arguing about here. All I was saying is that houses have already been turned into commercial spaces for small local businesses where they were zoned for commercial/OR. And not anywhere else. And I don't think that correlation should be ignored. I believe we'd have more of that if we re-zoned to C1/OR1 along Hennepin, and that market wouldn't (mostly) compete with what's going on along Lake or Lyndale - the stuff that draws heavier from a regional perspective (though, again, I'll note this isn't always the case: Target will almost certainly have a near-exclusive local draw).

And, I think it's a pretty weak argument in any case to say that the city on the whole is better if hypothetical new-construction commercial businesses don't go on Hennepin but some other desired streets. Getting to 34th and Hennepin by transit or bike for your average Minneapolis resident is barely more difficult than Lake and Pleasant. In any case, I think the city can and should have both!

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby acs » July 11th, 2016, 9:38 am

Can Uptown only support Bro Bars?
https://www.minnpost.com/twin-cities-bu ... t-bro-bars
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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby twincitizen » July 11th, 2016, 10:13 am

I could be wrong, but if I had to guess, the vast majority of the so-called "douchebag"/"bro" crowd does not live in or near Uptown. Some do, but I really think most of the party crowd are coming in from elsewhere. As far as I can recall, when I visited Uptown (before moving to Minneapolis proper in 2011), it seemed to be the same type of crowd that goes to Brothers, Drink, etc. (21, 22 year olds), but just a few years later. Uptown is the party scene for those in their mid-to-late 20s, still looking for a wild time, but feel too old for places like Brothers, Dinkytown bars, etc.

I reject the idea that Uptown cannot support fine dining. The neighborhoods surrounding Uptown are fairly densely populated with actual wealthy people (East Calhoun, East Isles, etc.), upper middle class to wealthy (Wedge, CARAG) and hordes of people in their 20s and 30s with disposable income (not wealthy, but DINKs willing to spend on dining out).

It's more likely that it's just a bad idea to put your "fine dining" restaurant in the heart of Uptown's club district, which definitely includes Calhoun Square. If fine dining is to make it in the greater Uptown area, I think it needs to stake out its own territory, not right at the epicenter of Hennepin & Lake.

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Re: Uptown Retail & Restaurant News

Postby David Greene » July 11th, 2016, 12:01 pm

The northwest corner of 27th and Hennepin would be an ideal location.

Oh wait.


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