Nicollet Ave / Eat Street - Whittier, Stevens, Loring Park

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Andrew_F
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Eat Street - Nicollet Avenue

Postby Andrew_F » May 14th, 2013, 9:12 am

I noticed today there's a pretty big renovation going on at 2515 Nicollet, looks like a second floor is being added to the existing building.

Also saw an excavator going through the front of the building just south of Quang (27xx), but it didn't look like they were going to demolish the whole thing. Does anyone know what is going on here?

It's great to see continued small-scale investment here.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby Aville_37 » May 18th, 2013, 8:16 am

Hi DaPerpKazoo - I started a thread a while back - Developing Nicollet Avenue/Stevens Square. There hasn't been much activity on it for a while. Great to hear some of the projects you mentioned. I think the street/area has a lot more potential. Especially the vacant lots north & south of the Nicollet Avenue bridge.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby Andrew_F » July 11th, 2013, 8:07 am

This morning there's a survey team at work in both the parking lot for the Pho shop and around the back of the Washburn Center on the NW corner of 25th and Nicollet. A sign of things to come?


If someone wants to merge this thread with this one: http://urbanmsp.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=421, that would be cool. Sorry for starting a duplicate.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby seanrichardryan » July 11th, 2013, 8:27 am

Washburn is moving over to Glenwood Ave. They've got two parcels on the westside and the lot across the street adjacent to the Spyhouse building. Some small scale apartment projects in here would be great.
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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby Andrew_F » July 11th, 2013, 8:48 am

Interesting. Those lots are significantly deeper than most-- the blocks between Pleasant and Nicollet from Franklin down to 40th are some of the widest in the city. If the Pho parcel is indeed also in play, that would make for a pretty big assemblage of land.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby MNdible » July 11th, 2013, 9:59 am

Not that I'd recommend a single large development, but there's absolutely nothing worth saving on that whole block face. West side of Nicollet, 24th to 25th.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby twincitizen » July 11th, 2013, 12:38 pm

Agreed. And it goes beyond just that single block face. Why does this stretch of Nicollet look like it belongs in Richfield? It's like half of the Eat Street corridor was leveled and rebuilt in 1955-1962. What the hell happened here?

Also, where are all of the Asians? This corridor is filled with Asian restaurants, grocery stores, markets, etc. but the surrounding neighborhood (and Minneapolis as a whole, really) has very little Asian population to speak of. What's the deal with that? Contrast this with the eastern stretch of University Avenue in St. Paul, where the folks who own and patronize the businesses actually make up a large percentage of the population. Someone once mentioned (jokingly maybe, but perhaps actually true) that they all moved to the south suburbs years ago. I only found one census tract in all of south Minneapolis over 5% Asian population in 2010 (SE Whittier). The vast majority of census tracts are just 2-3% Asian. Anyone have any insight on that particular demographic oddity?

*Edit, before anyone calls me out, I realize "Asian" is a very generic ethnic term, but the Eat Street corridor has so many different nationalities represented through cuisine, it might have actually been more insensitive to specify. For the purposes of the Census data, I do realize that "Asian" also includes folks from central Asia and India, etc., but I don't think that has much bearing on the point I was getting at.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby MNdible » July 11th, 2013, 1:00 pm

twincitizen wrote:Agreed. And it goes beyond just that single block face. Why does this stretch of Nicollet look like it belongs in Richfield? It's like half of the Eat Street corridor was leveled and rebuilt in 1955-1962. What the hell happened here?
A quick jaunt over to historical aerials shows that this block face was all single family homes (with perhaps a small gas station at the southern end) as recently as 1947. A few of them hung on as long as 1966.
twincitizen wrote:This corridor is filled with Asian restaurants, grocery stores, markets, etc. but the surrounding neighborhood (and Minneapolis as a whole, really) has very little Asian population to speak of.
Anecdotally, I've heard that this was a historical accident. The commercial real estate along Nicollet was a comparative bargain (and perceived to be safer than, say, Lake Street) just at the moment when Asian immigrants were looking to start their businesses. A few pioneers established a beachhead, and everybody else followed.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby PhilmerPhil » July 11th, 2013, 1:11 pm

In spite of the bland architecural styles and gaps of surface lots here and there, I'd say Nicollet between Franklin and the K-Mart is one of the most walkable parts of the city. Low car traffic, a high density of unique/sidewalk-addressing storefronts per block, and decent street trees all contribute to this.

It's stuff like this that kinda makes you realize that you don't necessarily need magnificent architecture and multi-story buildings to create a good walking environment.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby twincitizen » July 11th, 2013, 1:24 pm

Agreed on how walkable it is. I think you could add 1,000 apartment units to Eat Street before touching a single existing building (except maybe a few terrible ones with large setbacks). This area desperately needs a district/shared parking arrangement so we can starting filling in the gaps. I'd love to see a large development at 25th or 27th incorporate significant public parking, much like the Opus project is doing in Dinkytown.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby woofner » July 11th, 2013, 1:38 pm

MNdible wrote:Not that I'd recommend a single large development, but there's absolutely nothing worth saving on that whole block face. West side of Nicollet, 24th to 25th.
I certainly wouldn't shed tears for any of these buildings, but the Washburn, Evergreen and Hai Nguyen are all good backdrop buildings. They pretty much come right up to the street and take up a good chunk of their lots. Bookend the block with 6-8 story apt with first floor retail and it can stay like that forever. Or tear down the whole block and replace it with 3 or 4 4-6 story buildings, take your pick.
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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby twincitizen » July 27th, 2013, 1:26 pm

Not that I want this dialogue to continue, but perhaps this will paint a better picture of Icehouse. This recent MTV clip about the Minneapolis music scene features heavy footage of Icehouse during a performance by Marijuana Deathsquads (yeah, that's a real band name). If you look super closely, UrbanMSP's own twincitizen can be spotted in the upper right corner at the 4:13-4:14 mark. Look ma I'm on MTV!

http://mtvother.com/videos/this-is-the- ... to-be-hot/

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby MNdible » August 20th, 2013, 2:30 pm

For lack of somewhere better to post this, The Line has an interesting article up about Peter Remes, who redeveloped the Icehouse project (but not the terribly pretentious restaurant of the same name). He's also responsible for The Broadway in northeast, which is mostly wrapped up and a very cool project (home of the terribly pretentious 612 Brewery).

I've thought he's an interesting character because of his willingness to go against the grain, and also the sense that I get that he's walking in with a pretty good pile of his own money and not super-worried about making a huge return on it.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby lordmoke » August 20th, 2013, 3:09 pm

Very interesting piece. Thanks for sharing it.

Work has been ongoing at Glenwood and Aldritch for a little while now. I wasn't sure what it was- glad to see the building is in good hands!

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby Minneapolisite » October 4th, 2013, 7:27 pm

OK, so I went inside Buddha unplanned: some @-hole locked his frame to my shifting cable in front of Bad Waitress and me and a friend went around to neighboring businesses to see if we could find the guy to have him unlock his bike instead of waiting on him for god knows how long. One of those businesses was Buddha and upon setting foot inside I already hated the place: bad thumping techno and horrible lighting with a "sleek" bar and the predictable clientele you'd expect at Lake & Hennepin. It's like Chino Latino and Amazing Thailand had a drive-by abortion on 26th and Nic and bothered to name it Buddha. Us Eat Sreet regulars were blissfully oblivious to what would befall our beloved Eat Street: it's is officially under siege by the Uptown plague on the NW corner of 26th and Nic: Eat Street Social was a fluke, Icehouse was an unfortunate coincidence, but now, Buddha completes the Unholy Trinity and removes any doubt that this pox has firmly taken root.

Oh yeah, so we couldn't find the douchebag who held my bike hostage so we got drunk at Black Forest and while my buddy was taking a smoke out front the dude was walking by with his bike and I was finally freed. I didn't see the guy, but my friend verified that his d!ckish act matched his appearance 100%. He did in fact look just like the kind of guy who would do that and not give a sh!t. So just a reminder, be a courteous cyclist and don't carelessly lock up to someone else's bike. We got enough shite from shite motorists, no need to pile on and shite on fellow cyclists.

PS - On Yelp only one reviewer for Buddha so far has more than one or two reviews, all of which are heaping praise on the place. This only makes me even more convinced that I'm right about that place when they have to resort to friends/employees for positive reviews where there would otherwise only be one. Guess not enough locals are rushing to spend $25 on pan seared scallops and $4.75 (before tip) on a PBR.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby garfield » October 17th, 2013, 8:40 am

Okay, I'll take the bait.

Personally, I'm glad places like this exist. We all went through the stage in life that we didn't like new things that might be "trendy" and ruin the vibe of a particular block/street/neighborhood. If this place doesn't have the vibe you like when you eat and drink, then don't go there. Some of us in our thirties and forties might want to escape our work and family life for a "night on the town," and a place like this where we can eat and drink next to "trendy" 20-somethings might make us perfectly happy for an evening. And that is just fine. The "Uptown plague" that is bringing money into different neighborhoods might actually be good for everyone - enabling the old-school and authentic places to co-exist with shiny new places. Imagine that - diversity in our fair city!

By the way, CBAG is for sale. Some old-school uptown hipsters should start a Kickstarter campaign to buy it "so it will never change."

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby twincitizen » October 17th, 2013, 8:45 am

CBAG = Country Bar and Grill (in Lyn-Lake)

It took me a minute, so I figured I would translate before someone asked.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby Tyler » October 17th, 2013, 10:05 am

mplsjaromir wrote:The marketplace rejected Azia.
Ehhh... no way. A restaurant that the "marketplace rejects" doesn't stay open for 8 years. Which brings up the most hilarious part of the preceding rant -- Minneapolisite is 11 years late with his complaint (Azia opened in 2002). Or maybe he's only been an "eat street regular" since 2011? Sounds a bit like an ol' Johnny-come-lately, psych-folk listenin' douche nozzle to me.
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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby MNdible » October 17th, 2013, 10:33 am

I haven't been there yet -- assumed that it would be terrible, but the review from Heavy Table and a few others have been surprisingly positive.

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Re: Nicollet Ave/Eat Street

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 17th, 2013, 11:44 am

Tyler wrote:
mplsjaromir wrote:The marketplace rejected Azia.
Ehhh... no way. A restaurant that the "marketplace rejects" doesn't stay open for 8 years. Which brings up the most hilarious part of the preceding rant -- Minneapolisite is 11 years late with his complaint (Azia opened in 2002). Or maybe he's only been an "eat street regular" since 2011? Sounds a bit like an ol' Johnny-come-lately, psych-folk listenin' douche nozzle to me.
Azia sucked, let's not kid ourselves.


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