18.3.06

stp: Mayor Coleman on Bridges

There was a fairly unrevealing article in the PiPress this week about Trooien's Bridges of Saint Paul project.

Coleman urged Trooien to address several key project details, including the total amount of needed property tax breaks, ways to reconcile the development with zoning limits in the West Side Flats neighborhood and necessary steps if the Legislature limits cities' power to use eminent domain.

"I know that you are fully aware of the project's complexity," the mayor wrote in a letter dated
March 9. "It concerns me that you are inviting high-profile partners to the development without resolving some of these fundamental issues."


I don't thing that eminent domain plays much of role here, except as a shibboleth for the city to use if they want to reject parts of all of this project. Basically, what Trooien is doing is a great example of how not to build a mixed-use development. This guy needs all sorts of zoning variances, and is asking for a ton of TIF funds, but he's doing it in such a heavy handed way, that if the city is going to support him, they're going to have to alienate a whole slew of pissed-off voters. This has the potential to be a "downtown Target" type of boondoggle for Saint Paul's political leadership. Just look at all the heat that the airport dike is drawing -- and that's not even a particularly visible or expensive project.

I've nothing against developing housing/commercial space on the West Side river flats, but given Saint Paul's palpable downtown problems, is it wise to build a competing retail center? Or is downtown Saint Paul just too hostile to pedestrians to ever again be a viable destination?

Plus:

Not to beat a dead horse, but Mythica?

Why do I want to create Mythica? I have always wanted to understand the universe and my place in it. During my early years, I was left unfulfilled by the explanations, preaching, doctrines, and analyses that were given to me. Those explanations were not enough. In 1988 my world "blew up." I saw Joseph Campbell in his interviews with Bill Moyers for the Public Television Series, "The Power of Myth." I heard only a few words and I knew deep inside that "he was me, and me was he".

1 comment:

Derrick Shields said...

Whenever a huge project like this is proposed, it has lots and lots of hoops to jump through. Look how long it took the Pillsbury A-Mill to get approved.

I would expect that Trooien has at least a year or two of back and forth negotiations between the the community, the city, etc. before this thing moved forward.

I do understand the potential 'competition' that it could create between DT St. Paul, which has enough trouble as it is. It is sad that St. Paul feels like such a ghost town sometimes. It's enlightening to see all of the residential development, however, hopefully that begins to change the livelyiess of the city.