Suburbs - General Topics

Twin Cities Suburbs
twincitizen
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Suburbs - General Topics

Postby twincitizen » February 8th, 2013, 2:47 pm

Here's a place to put suburb news that is unlikely to generate much discussion. This can be restaurant news, development news, or just deep thoughts on how awesome or awful Blaine and Shakopee are.

Here's one: StuartCo is redeveloping a vacant Arden Hills Holiday Inn into a student-focused apartment complex marketed at the 2 nearby bible colleges. The 5-story e-street flats will include 74 units and a NOW Bikes & Fitness store.
http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/m ... hotel.html

Here's another: A Strib article about a U of M study about how the effects of "sprawl" are not limited to exurbs and .5-acre lots, but can be found even in inner-ring suburbs and outlying parts of the central cities that are single-use and amenity-poor.
http://www.startribune.com/business/190 ... page=1&c=y

Please check this sub-forum before starting any new topics. We have lots of general threads for nearly every burb in the metro. Only major projects or redevelopment areas should be given their own topics.

beykite
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby beykite » February 24th, 2013, 10:55 pm

High-end home construction making a return to Woodbury
Article by: JIM ANDERSON , Star Tribune

For the first time in years, in another signal that the housing recovery is working its way to the luxury end of the market, million-dollar homes are coming back to Woodbury in a big way.

The Woodbury City Council this week is expected to approve plans for a development called Autumn Ridge, a cluster of 20 homes spread across more than 61 acres on what had been farmland at the southwest corner of Military Road and Radio Drive, north of Glen Road, in the southwest part of the city... [Continue]
Woodbury sure is poised to undergo some explosive growth over the next decade or so.

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Nick
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby Nick » February 24th, 2013, 11:13 pm

Million dollar houses (I hate saying "homes" for some reason--how do you buy a feeling?) in Woodbury seems about right. I'd say the real question is whether or not we start building new $150,000 houses out in the second ring again.

stp1980
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby stp1980 » February 25th, 2013, 7:32 am

Ahh the "Wood-hood" my old home. It will definitely keep growing but they have never been big in diversifying the tax base beyond shopping and houses. I wonder if some of the land that is left (meaning that along the interstate and future Gateway corridor) would be better put to use for business. The whole East metro seems to lack employment centers other than 3M

min-chi-cbus
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby min-chi-cbus » February 25th, 2013, 8:04 am

beykite wrote:
High-end home construction making a return to Woodbury
Article by: JIM ANDERSON , Star Tribune

For the first time in years, in another signal that the housing recovery is working its way to the luxury end of the market, million-dollar homes are coming back to Woodbury in a big way.

The Woodbury City Council this week is expected to approve plans for a development called Autumn Ridge, a cluster of 20 homes spread across more than 61 acres on what had been farmland at the southwest corner of Military Road and Radio Drive, north of Glen Road, in the southwest part of the city... [Continue]
Woodbury sure is poised to undergo some explosive growth over the next decade or so.
Not if they keep building 3 acre plots like they are for this development! But yeah, I'd peg Woodbury as the front-runner for fastest-growing in the 2010's, up there with Maple Grove, Blaine, Lakeville, and of course, Minneapolis.

Suburban Outcast
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby Suburban Outcast » February 26th, 2013, 12:31 am

stp1980 wrote:Ahh the "Wood-hood" my old home. It will definitely keep growing but they have never been big in diversifying the tax base beyond shopping and houses. I wonder if some of the land that is left (meaning that along the interstate and future Gateway corridor) would be better put to use for business. The whole East metro seems to lack employment centers other than 3M
True but the east metro still has some employment centers, as Roseville could be considered a large employment center (especially along/near 35W/TH 36). The Fortune 500/1000 companies in the area are definitely spread out though, as St. Jude is in Little Canada, Imation in Oakdale, and CHS in Inver Grove Heights.

Since the southern portion of Lake Elmo near I-94 is planned to be developed by 2030, and St. Croix County is growing fast, Woodbury could and probably will become a larger employment center, especially along the beltway and 94. Too bad they can't divert that growth to Saint Paul. Building more McMansions and office parks in developing suburbs = meh. (I guess so are certain 4-6 story stick apartments popping up in the central cities as well, to be fair).

twincitizen
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby twincitizen » February 26th, 2013, 1:54 am

I'm pretty sure that no one here would regard equating urban infill with greenfield McMansion development as "being fair".

Given that this area is going to grow significantly over the next 20 years, whether we like it or not, I think it is imperative that Gateway Corridor BRT get built sooner rather than later to "trap" investments within the corridor, rather than sprawling out even further to the east.

Suburban Outcast
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby Suburban Outcast » February 26th, 2013, 2:37 am

twincitizen wrote:I'm pretty sure that no one here would regard equating urban infill with greenfield McMansion development as "being fair".

Given that this area is going to grow significantly over the next 20 years, whether we like it or not, I think it is imperative that Gateway Corridor BRT get built sooner rather than later to "trap" investments within the corridor, rather than sprawling out even further to the east.
I was just making similarities to how both can be "cookie-cutter" in many ways (I guess while playing devil's advocate), and I have no issue with the Gateway Corridor BRT being built. I realize that development over there is going to happen, but I question whether it's going to be a continuation of much of Woodbury's stereotypical sprawling developments or developments based off the smart growth ideology, regardless if they get BRT/LRT/etc. or not.

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Re: General Suburb News

Postby Viktor Vaughn » March 13th, 2013, 10:22 am

The Star Tribune reports Walmart intends to build a new store in Blaine about 2,000 ft from its existing store. The existing store is much too small at only 142,000 square feet, so Walmart wants a to build a 180,000 square foot store on the other side of the 35W interchange. Plus, building new would get them out of their current lease covenant which prevents them from selling groceries (since they’re in the same complex as Cub Foods).

The article quotes an area resident:
Star Tribune wrote: Harrison said she also wonders what will become of the building Wal-Mart owns and occupies in the Village if it opens a store on Ball Road. She worries that the big-box retailer will board it up, crippling the shopping center, and refuse to sell it, thus limiting competition.

“There are vacant Wal-Marts all across America,” Harrison said.

Wal-Mart’s spokeswoman said it’s too early to comment on what would happen to the Wal-Mart building in the Village if the Ball Road store is built.
I really wish there was some way to hold businesses accountable for their effect on a community. Can’t they make Walmart figure out how they’re old location will be reused before they approve a new one? I guess this just irks me because it exemplifies our disposable culture. That store built a decade ago no longer suits your needs? Just board it up and move across the interchange...

That attitude is just so dismissive of the communities these businesses operate in. How many retailers are looking for 142,000 square feet? And does Walmart really sometimes refuse to sell their ghost stores to keep out competition?

I frequently visit inlaws in a small Iowa town where Walmart moved a half mile down the road and left their old store vacant at least five years ago. This is hardly a rare occurrence.

I realize a lot of folks have stood on this soapbox before me, but it’s just so frustrating to see one more example of their complete disregard for the rest of us.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 13th, 2013, 10:37 am

This seems like an example of where Eminent Domain could really come in handy.....if something is being boarded up and underused, then the city can take it and reuse it (for a public need, as the rule states).

RailBaronYarr
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 13th, 2013, 12:45 pm

And that people continue to shop there to save literally $0.10 on an item they're buying frustrates me even more. Ignoring the car and gas they needed to get there, the money the city put in to TIF and reduced property taxes, the amount the state put in to build interchanges to support getting to the store, the jobs lost/displaced in the community, and the environmental costs we will all bear down the line.

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Mdcastle
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby Mdcastle » March 23rd, 2013, 9:24 pm

I guess I'm one of the people that frustrate you then, since I do a lot of shopping, including all my grocery shopping a Walmart. I'm not sure how I'll fit in here, but I thought I'd join as the token pro-freeway, pro-suburban sprawl, pro plenty of parking member.

I wouldn't characterize the Walmart as way to small. In Bloomington they retrofitted an existing store into a 120,000 square ft supercenter and in Burnsville they built a new one of 155,000 square ft. I think it's more about getting out of their lease covenant.

mattaudio
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby mattaudio » March 25th, 2013, 12:11 pm

So Wal-Mart in Blaine is sort of like Menards in Apple Valley, where they'll be building their THIRD store in two decades in order to get around some pesky rule about outdoor garden centers.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 26th, 2013, 9:56 am

Wait, what!? Menards also screwed the pooch on the Burnsville location by leaving their old building empty for so long... I can't tell if it is truly occupied now based on Google Maps, but either way they proved the one-use, move on mentality for big box stores. Can't believe the AV Menards would need another.. that place still feels brand new to me.

Mdcastle, nice to have you join. This isn't a sanctioned UrbanMSP suggestion, but I would encourage you to spend some time at StrongTowns.org . Most people who are supporters of sprawl and freeway expansions supporting the American Dream do so under the guise of free-market choice and positive economic benefits (maybe this isn't your take, but it's the most common I've seen). ST does a good job dispelling this from a purely fiscal analysis, not the fluffy hippie stuff usually associated with anti-urban sprawl arguments. Just a suggestion :)

mattaudio
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby mattaudio » March 26th, 2013, 11:30 am

The old BV Menards is now subdivided into a few low-match uses, including a school bus garage.

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Mdcastle
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby Mdcastle » March 27th, 2013, 7:06 pm

I don't have a philosophical reason, just that I like a house with a yard and want to be able to drive alone without being stuck in traffic and would like other people to have the choice. Although I ride trains I haven't been on a public bus in 25 years, but I do support having a bus system for those that choose to use it.

As far as the Burnsville Menards- they had a rare chance to build next door without interrupting operations at their current store so I don't blame them for taking it. I don't think doing so is a big negative, considering they knocked down another vacant big box (a former Cub foods which Burnsville lured to their Heart of the City development). I wasn't aware of any use at the old store, it seems Menards is still trying to sell it.

Tom H.
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby Tom H. » March 28th, 2013, 9:41 am

I totally agree with your desire for choice - a house in the suburbs and commuting by car should always be choices available for people. The problem that I (and others) on this board have is that this lifestyle choice is effectively (and heavily) subsidized by all forms of government through highway funding, governmental transfer payments, and tax preferences. I think someone else suggested it, but try spending some time on www.StrongTowns.org, where these issues are fleshed out in great detail.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 28th, 2013, 12:01 pm

I also won't argue with the preference argument. I'm sure if most people, given the option with no cost difference, to own a 1,000 sqft home with .05 acres or a 3,000 sqft home with .35 acres would choose the latter (not all, some people don't like too much space, don't like to clean/mow/maintain, etc). If given the choice to have a personal vehicle that can travel directly to destinations in climate control, no crowding, etc people would likely choose that as well (ignoring those who prefer walking/biking and those that know that a congestion-free life with cars is relatively rare). The problem is we've convinced ourselves that this is not only a preference but an American right (we've just called it the "American Dream") and have thus subsidized it to the extreme. In Europe, there are residential villages, single family homes out in the country, larger homes/estates, etc - what many Americans desire. They just do a better job not subsidizing it (highways, infrastructure, gas price suppression, mortgage interest deduction, free parking, parking mandates, etc) for everyone, or at least at a total rate much closer to how much they subsidize things like public transit.

mamundsen
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby mamundsen » April 17th, 2013, 2:09 pm

I can't think of another place to put this and I didn't find a dedicated thread. I am sure it was talked about WAY back in the Vikings Stadium thread.

Ramsey County has purchased the Arden Hills ammo site.

http://www.bringmethenews.com/2013/04/1 ... ammo-site/

Are there any actual plans for this now that the Vikings are staying downtown? Wasn't it the largest undeveloped land area inside of the metro?

mattaudio
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Re: General Suburb News

Postby mattaudio » April 17th, 2013, 2:47 pm

There might possibly be more undeveloped land in metropolitan Le Sueur or Sibley counties


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