2010 New Years Resolutions "for Downtown

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January 4, 2010
By: Journal readers and community leaders
Journal readers and community leaders
// Once again we’ve asked Journal readers and community leaders to weigh in with their 
hopes and dreams for Downtown for the new year. Here are highlights of wish lists for 2010. //


More pizza, honor the Dakota

A downtown Minneapolis branch of Punch Pizza (why does St. Paul get two locations, and downtown Minneapolis gets none?).

Official citywide policy welcoming street musicians, magicians and other street performers to enliven our streets and skyways.

Law banning Michele Bachmann from setting foot in the city limits.

A real Downtown music store (we miss you, Schmitt!).

Same-sex marriages legally recognized.  

Mary Tyler Moore sculpture removed from Nicollet; bronze statue of Bob Dylan appears in its place.

No smoking anywhere Downtown. Not even outside. Deal with it.

Downtown businesses horrified that Xcel stores radioactive waste 60 minutes from Minneapolis, and shut the nuke down.

Official recognition of the Dakota Jazz Club to be preserved as an historic shrine and Downtown jewel.  

Wake up one morning on Hennepin Avenue and, Lord yes — Block E is gone.

Paul Macabee
Maccabee Group


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Support for Downtown 100 initiative


A partnership between Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis to support full implementation of our Downtown 100 project to enhance safety and the economic vitality of Downtown; to include intervention, safe housing, and mental health support for individuals suffering from mental illness and/or homelessness.

Jana Metge
Citizens for a Loring Park Community coordinator

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Hope for Hennepin and a 
call for more street vendors

I would wish for everyone to stop littering, and that means cigarette butts, too (note to Metropolitan Police on the corner of 7th and Nicollet!).

I wish and hope that the “Ambassadors” continue doing the outstanding job they are doing.

I wish for Hennepin Avenue to get filled up with new restaurant businesses.

I wish someone would buy the Block E building and move it somewhere else.

I wish that the Downtown business owners would realize what a great thing it is to have talented buskers performing in their skyways and on the streets. It adds to the festive nature of Downtown and gives us some personality.

I would love to see more street vendors all week long along with the Thursday Farmer’s Market.

I wish that panhandlers would move to Bemidji.

I wish that we could have R.T. as our Mayor AND our Governor!

AND …

I wish for skyway “hubs.” A logical layout of locations throughout Downtown where the connection between street level and skyway level is easy and obvious.

I wish for someone to encourage Downtown retail and restaurant businesses to put some time and effort into more effective storefront design and signage in order to enliven the urban landscape for potential customers.

I wish for more public art, such as artist designed drinking fountains.

I wish for more horse patrol officers on our Downtown streets.

I wish there was some competition to help liven up the skyways, such as design competitions or perhaps which buildings can attract the best skyway entertainment, or…

I would wish for a more varied selection of Downtown retailers. Where is Best Buy, for example? We still need more groceries Downtown as well.

I wish for lots more people on the streets. The perception that Downtown is “dangerous” still permeates and it’s a self fulfilling prophecy.

Downtown needs to be a place where everybody wants to be and if not enough people are using it, then it seems to be dominated by one group and that group usually gives the impression that downtown is “dangerous!”  YIKES!!

Jim Smart
Smart Associates


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More partnerships, play area for kids

I hope in 2010 we receive the bonding money to allow for an upgrade and redesign of Peavey Plaza while the Orchestra does its expansion.

With the growing population of children living in our Downtown neighborhoods I hope in 2010 we get a tot lot for kids to play in the North Loop/riverfront neighborhood.

I hope in 2010 we see many more partnerships that result in expansive greening Downtown, removing the crazy restrictions on creative food carts and vacant storefronts used for impromptu art galleries on Hennepin Avenue.

More than almost anything I hope 2010 brings a better tolerance and understanding of and environment and facilities for bike riders and pedestrians in all of downtown.

Lisa Goodman
City Council Member (7th Ward)


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A friendly state government

I generally dislike New Year resolutions and wishes. The older I get the more futile this ritual seems — like trying to maintain the capacity to blow out the increasing number of candles on one’s birthday cake. But, come to think of it, I find myself frequently fantasizing about what probably can be classified as a “wish” for 2010: I wish that the 2010 elections would produce a state government that is more hospitable and supportive of Minnesota cities; in particular recognizing Downtown Minneapolis as the emergent new urban core neighborhood that it has become.

David Fields
Elliot Park Neighborhood Inc.

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Lively public spaces

My resolution/wish for 2010 is that we find exciting ways to activate the public spaces in Downtown so that people come out of the buildings and engage. This will in turn lead to landing new major retail and office tenants in Downtown that will lead to more and more activity and vibrancy. This is how really good cities become great cities!

Sarah Harris
Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District

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A place to party

For Downtown to be THE place for community gathering — new greenspace, local restaurants and shops, public events and live music.

Marjorie Hegstrom
Mill City Farmers Market


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Efficient governing, more diverse theatergoers

I’d like to see:

1. A strong Mayor system form of government in Minneapolis.

2. A thorough review of the potential to combine city services with those of the county or other cities within Hennepin County.

3. A more diverse group of patrons in all theatre audiences.


Tom Hoch
Hennepin Theatre Trust

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Support the locals, 
no stadium subsidies

Downtown New Year’s resolutions (in no particular order):

1. Maintain and support the Downtown Improvement District and the Ambassador program. This is one of the most successful endeavors we’ve seen in a long time that has dramatically improved the look and feel of Downtown Minneapolis. Thank you Downtown Council and all those who have worked so hard to make this happen.

2. Sidewalk greening: Sidewalk trees enhance the streetscape in a huge and important way. We planted trees outside my street-front office this fall and it immediately created a more palpable sense of place. It improves the values and appearance of the property and brings a human scale the street. How about a goal of 500 new trees planted in Downtown in 2010?

3. Just say no to subsidizing major professional sports facilities: Most people I talk to Downtown are against stadium subsidies to million dollar athletes and team owners but our leaders tend to fall in lock step when voting time comes. As a former resident in the Mill District living in the shadow of the Metrodome, I can attest that having that structure there has done little or nothing to improve the quality of life in and near that neighborhood. Most of the data regarding benefits to the state and city from having the Vikings here are simply rhetoric. Let’s spend the taxes on something that will improve the lives of residents and business owners that pay them. Losing the Vikings will not significantly impact our state. Zigi can build his own stadium. The millions spent on a new Metrodome could do amazing things spent elsewhere.

4. Focus on locally owned businesses: Small, locally-owned businesses are the lifeblood of our Downtown. These are the establishments that make our city unique and memorable to residents and visitors. The powerful media-promotions-marketing complex in Minneapolis should tune in to the “Localvore/Localista” concept and play up our strengths when promoting the city to visitors.

Check out the350project.net for a great primer on this exciting and thoughtful movement sweeping the nation.

5. Get in shape Downtown: If you are looking to get pumped up after the New Year, consider one of the many clubs in Downtown Minneapolis that offer a huge array of programs.

Whether its weights, cardio, martial arts, dance or whatever else gets your heart racing, Downtown’s got you covered!


Scott Parkin
Hoffman Parkin Urban Realty