Subsidies shore up Central Corridor businesses

  • Article by: PAT DOYLE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 21, 2012 - 8:31 PM

Millions of dollars are being spent to preserve small businesses, with millions more planned in hopes of rejuvenation.

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viktorvaughnOct. 21, 1212:42 AM

One thing that always gets overlooked -- University needed to get rebuilt, LRT or no, because much of the road was 50-70+ years old. Just like on Lake and Lyndale recently, rebuilding an urban main street takes a toll on the small businesses on the street. You don't want to open the light rail in 2014 with all the unique shops and restaurants boarded up. So, I get the subsidies to protect the small business economy (and character) of University Avenue. I do worry they may have taken the subsidies too far and set a bad precedent. More businesses have opened on University than closed during construction.

I also agree with the goal to attract development and density to the corridor, it looks like the new Surly Brewery will be near one stop, let's keep it coming, there's plenty of vacant lots and buldings to renovate with stores, restaurants, jobs, and housing.

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garyglsOct. 21, 12 7:31 AM

I don't know why the just don't admit it up front, thet want all those businesses gone and replaced by "pretty" shops. But what they are relly not going to tell is no one along they entire light rail will survive because they took away all the parking and all light rail does is take people PAST you business, just like at all th businesses the Mayor Belton said would pop-up along Hiawatha -ZERO- it's all a greenie scam.

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corngo4rOct. 21, 12 8:02 AM

Take a trip to Chi town Wicker Park area and other areasa in that city. There is a mix of old and pretty shops all of which are thriving near a rail line. Yeah it may take a bit but you can find parking nearby as well.

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jbpaperOct. 21, 12 8:18 AM

A billion dollars to build, millions in subsidies to businesses along the line, millions more to keep the line running; this is the gift that keeps on giving. Or taking.

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jbpaperOct. 21, 12 8:23 AM

I would like to commend Mr Doyle on actually giving the whole story instead of the usual LRT is going great fluff that the Strib usually prints.

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justamom41Oct. 21, 12 8:36 AM

Central planning never works, but old socialist ideas never die. It's beyond tragic to see once vibrant immigrant and other established businesses along University slowly fail, because it was all so predictable.

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whodafagawiOct. 21, 12 8:39 AM

Take a trip to Chi Town and look at all the development along the light rail line in Austin and Garfield Park. It looks like Berlin after WW2.

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conniemercerOct. 21, 12 8:47 AM

Wait until the light rail is done and see the shops close anyway. Parking will be a hassle and people riding the train are not getting off to shop. More liberal nonsense costing us jobs and wasting tax dollars. But... it does look pretty and feel good. I guess that is all that matters...

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breezybobOct. 21, 1211:10 AM

This is a far better investment for the public good than, oh, say …, professional sports stadiums!?!

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mn2niceOct. 21, 12 1:06 PM

I think what we are seeing is since Hiawatha went into service in 2004, that the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, along with the Metropolitan Council, have seen that connecting employment centers with light rail transit has and will continue to create transit-oriented development along both corridors. Multiple-unit housing projects have increased along the Hiawatha corridor, and we are already seeing apartment complexes being constructed near the Central Corridor near the U of M West Bank and East Bank. And I agree with viktorvaughn, in that every major project like this has an impact on local businesses during construction. The same thing will happen during construction of the new stadium. Those businesses which hang in there, get help with subsidies and stay after the line goes into operation will see an uptick in business. Other cities like Portland, Houston, Los Angeles, and Seattle have had some of the same issues during expansion of their LRT systems, and studies have shown that when transit development is connected with solid land use policies to foster development of employment centers near transit, transit ridership increases dramatically because people find they then have increased access to employment. With Central Corridor connecting the two campuses of the University of Minnesota, the downtown area of the city of St. Paul, with Minneapolis, businesses will benefit. We must continue to focus on sustainable development, move away from the model of suburban sprawl and dependence on the automobile to more efficient transportation and land use so everyone benefits, not just those with cars. Yesterday's price of gas should be giving all those who drive a message. In California, where my sister lives, the price of unleaded gas is $4.67/gal. Think of what you could do with all that money you are pouring into your gas tank every month!

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