Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Downtown - North Loop - Mill District - Elliot Park - Loring Park
QuietBlue
Rice Park
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby QuietBlue » July 12th, 2019, 12:04 pm

twincitizen wrote:
July 11th, 2019, 2:53 pm
The more I've traveled to other US cities (hell even just small midwestern cities), I've come to realize that our lack of tourism is another contributing factor as to why downtown Mpls' retail/storefront scene sucks so bad. Obviously the biggest contributing factors are the skyways and bad buildings that fill whole/half blocks and don't actually have a single storefront to speak of. But the role of tourism (lack thereof) in our downtown sucking shouldn't be ignored either.
I think Minnesota recreational activity being so focused around lakes/cabins/camping/etc has something to do with this too. When the weather is nice, lots of people leave town. Plus, there isn't really a central entertainment area that draws in a wide range of people the way there is in some other cities (Baltimore's Inner Harbor, KC's Power and Light District, etc).

mattaudio
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby mattaudio » July 12th, 2019, 1:22 pm

If there's a nice day, then the hotspots are places like the Chain of Lakes or Minnehaha Falls, not downtown.

QuietBlue
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby QuietBlue » July 12th, 2019, 1:55 pm

mattaudio wrote:
July 12th, 2019, 1:22 pm
If there's a nice day, then the hotspots are places like the Chain of Lakes or Minnehaha Falls, not downtown.
How many non-locals go to those places, though, unless a local takes them? Minnehaha Falls is at least on the Blue Line, but neither is near the hotels and other areas where tourists will spend much of their time.

mplsmatt
Block E
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby mplsmatt » July 12th, 2019, 2:58 pm

I feel like Bde Maka Ska sees a reasonable amount of tourism in the summer. You'll notice groups of people speaking German or Italian enjoying the trails or renting paddleboards. Though it's true that people staying downtown for sports or concerts probably aren't making the trek all that often (especially with the riverfront nearby).

When you say that we don't have a central entertainment area, do you mean we don't have an area prioritizing pedestrians? The few blocks of downtown that contain the State, Target Center, First Ave, The Fine Line, etc. would certainly qualify as an entertainment district to me, but that doesn't mean it's the kind of place people go just to walk around and enjoy it.

StoJa9

Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby StoJa9 » July 12th, 2019, 7:06 pm

seamonster wrote:
July 12th, 2019, 10:15 am
There is a national Lutheran youth conference taking place.
So there's a cult meeting in town? :twisted:

QuietBlue
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby QuietBlue » July 12th, 2019, 7:47 pm

mplsmatt wrote:
July 12th, 2019, 2:58 pm
I feel like Bde Maka Ska sees a reasonable amount of tourism in the summer. You'll notice groups of people speaking German or Italian enjoying the trails or renting paddleboards. Though it's true that people staying downtown for sports or concerts probably aren't making the trek all that often (especially with the riverfront nearby).

When you say that we don't have a central entertainment area, do you mean we don't have an area prioritizing pedestrians? The few blocks of downtown that contain the State, Target Center, First Ave, The Fine Line, etc. would certainly qualify as an entertainment district to me, but that doesn't mean it's the kind of place people go just to walk around and enjoy it.
Sure, tourists go to areas like that. But when I mean a central entertainment area, I mean something like Canal Park in Duluth -- sightseeing, restaurants, bars, shops, things to do/watch, etc. Walkability is part of it, but it's also about the mix of what's there, and a central location.

luigipaladio
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby luigipaladio » July 12th, 2019, 8:58 pm

Giving a tour here to Italian friends a few years ago, they loved Downtown, the river from and Northeast. They were also completely amazed by our parks, lakes, and the Grand Rounds. I am always meeting tourists in the metro - a recent trip to the Eagan outlet mall was an encyclopedia of foreign languages and nationalities and zI’ve encountered much the same in our parks and down by the river.

Riverplace was an attempt to create a destination entertainment area, but in a city this size, it is impossible to concentrate all of the entertainment into such a small area and there was something horribly artificial about the whole Riverplace scheme. We have many destination arts and entertainment venues that people do travel to visit - the Guthrie, the dozens of other theaters, Mia,, the Walker, and a host of small galleries, the incredible array of sports venues, and on and on.

Shopping, even for tourists, is changing. No one knows exactly where it is all going to land. It takes a willingness to risk a lot and lose a lot to set up a small retail operation. A lot of potential shop owners are highly risk averse right now.. It strikes me as absurd to think that every new building in the Downtrown area should have commercial space. Nicollet was a dense retail corridor at one time and there is sufficient space there for some new form of retail approach to get established there.

perhaps the Dayton project will help turn the tide, and it would certainly qualify as a center point for a n entertainment zone - close to theaters, sports venues, and plenty of hotel rooms, but I think the Dayton project will have a hard time filling it’s retail space and keeping it full. do course, the Black Hole of retailing that is City Center compounds the issue by casing a dark cloud of gloom over any retail efforts in the middle of downtown.

Silophant
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Silophant » July 25th, 2019, 1:41 pm

The owners of Ren Square/The Andrus will be coming to the DMNA LUC meeting on August 5th to ask for support for a variance from the Nicollet Mall overlay district requirements for street-level retail. We'll see what their ask is, but it doesn't bode well.

amiller92
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby amiller92 » July 25th, 2019, 2:50 pm

But the new paint on the first floor looks good!

(Honestly, it's been empty so long I might be willing to give in to desperation).

Silophant
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Silophant » July 25th, 2019, 3:54 pm

I want to believe that it's just a variance for the 60% of ground floor area for retail, and they want to use the back half for something else and leave the mall-facing part as smaller retail spaces, which would be fine.

Idk. On the one hand, it's been empty forever. On the other, I simply cannot believe that there's no retail use that can work adjacent to the busiest LRT station on the system.

luigipaladio
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby luigipaladio » July 25th, 2019, 6:09 pm

When I was.a kid, all of Nicollet, Hennepin and many of the cross streets between them were packed with retail shops, restaurants, and the wonder that was the Great Northern Market, purveyor of exotic fruits and vegetables and good meats. That was a long time ago. The kind of retail that existed at that time was there, not for a high resident population but for the countless commuters that used the streetcars to get downtown to work.

Much of the type of retail that used to enliven the streets migrated to the skyway level. There just is not a need for two levels of retail spread over the main axis of downtown along with all of the arms that extend out from that axis along the paths of the skyways. I have some hope for street level retail in the North Look, the Mill District and in a few other pockets of high residential density.. The Dayton project may bring back a degree of retail density to the Mall, but that remains to be seen, but to expect street level retail wherever there are new buildings in downtown just seems unrealistic.

The retail market has changed radically. To expect every new or renovated project in downtown to have a significant retail component is absurd in this day and age. People don’t shop that way any more. I love a place packed with little, locally owned shops and restaurants, but it is a limited possibility these days.

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Anondson
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Anondson » July 25th, 2019, 9:20 pm

I think the main stimulus for growth to retail on Nicollet Mall will be from whatever residential is built up and down it. I don’t think it has reached a tipping point yet.

mattaudio
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby mattaudio » July 26th, 2019, 6:17 am

Is it 60% of linear frontage or 60% of actual floor area? I hope it's not the latter.

We need more retail density, not necessarily more retail floor area. If you have a 15,000 square foot floorplate but want to put in ten 500 sf storefronts (5,000 sf or 33%) that's much better for street life than a single 10,000 sf retail bay (67%) that will sit vacant more than it is occupied.

Silophant
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby Silophant » July 26th, 2019, 8:04 am

It's both.
551.940. - Street level retail.

(a) In general. All buildings shall contain retail uses at the street level subject to the following standards:

(1) Retail uses shall include Retail Sales and Services uses and Food and Beverages uses contained in Table 549-1 Principal Uses in the Downtown Districts.

(2) Retail uses shall occupy at least sixty (60) percent of the gross floor area of the first floor and shall extend along at least sixty (60) percent of the first floor façade fronting on Nicollet Mall.

(3) Each retail use is encouraged to have at least one (1) separate entrance from Nicollet Mall.

(4) Retail uses are encouraged to include awnings and canopies to provide protection to pedestrians and to emphasize individual uses and building entrances.
I've got no problem if they want a variance for the 60% floor area (how many buildings actually meet that?), but the 60% frontage is important.

CalMcKenney
City Center
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby CalMcKenney » July 26th, 2019, 9:47 am

This may get me in trouble, but I'd just like to hear some opinions on this. Don't get me wrong, I'm very empathetic towards the homeless and feel for the horrible situation they're in. But, is it possible this end of Nicollet will continue to struggle because of the crowd that hangs around that area?

MattW
Union Depot
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby MattW » July 26th, 2019, 10:00 am

CalMcKenney wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 9:47 am
This may get me in trouble, but I'd just like to hear some opinions on this. Don't get me wrong, I'm very empathetic towards the homeless and feel for the horrible situation they're in. But, is it possible this end of Nicollet will continue to struggle because of the crowd that hangs around that area?
Yes and No... I think the homeless population likely scares away weekend suburbanites.

When you look at other major cities, San Fran, NYC, Chicago, etc. They have thriving retail in areas with homeless populations. That being said, these cities are much larger population and tourism wise. We can only do so much on the tourism front. We can continue to build housing in the CBD.

grrdanko
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby grrdanko » July 26th, 2019, 10:09 am

CalMcKenney wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 9:47 am
This may get me in trouble, but I'd just like to hear some opinions on this. Don't get me wrong, I'm very empathetic towards the homeless and feel for the horrible situation they're in. But, is it possible this end of Nicollet will continue to struggle because of the crowd that hangs around that area?
I think the behavior of the people who pretty much live at the sculpture in front of the library scares some people off. It's constant drinking, gambling and drug use by that group. It certainly doesn't help people feel comfortable to use the library or take advantage of the seating on Nicollet Mall.

MNdible
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby MNdible » July 26th, 2019, 3:13 pm

Yeah, that area seems to have gotten out of control pretty quickly. I don't have a good answer, but the current situation is definitely not going to encourage anybody to sign a lease down there.

swallman
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby swallman » July 30th, 2019, 1:13 pm

MNdible wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 3:13 pm
Yeah, that area seems to have gotten out of control pretty quickly. I don't have a good answer, but the current situation is definitely not going to encourage anybody to sign a lease down there.
A lot of Nicollet Mall seems to have gotten worse recently...yesterday I saw people grabbing multiple chairs and lining them up together and then basically building beds out of them. Not sure what the solution is but unless they get a handle on the situation it's going to be hard sell for retail.

SurlyLHT
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Downtown Minneapolis Retail News

Postby SurlyLHT » July 30th, 2019, 1:20 pm

I admired the sculpture as they built it, but I've never felt comfortable going beneath it to enjoy or even get a good look at it. Maybe there can be some sort of day center built for people to hang out and use computers and etc instead of the library? Otherwise maybe the police can use no drug and gambling laws to disperse them. I don't know what the solution is..but one is needed.


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