mpls: Ackerberg profile in the Mpls Observer

Uptown is the real condo battleground in the Twin Cities right now. All the construction that's going on in Downtown is relatively victimless, as most of the new buildings are replacing parking lots. And the amount of development in places like Northeast, Whittier, or Saint Paul pale next to all the activity in Uptown, in and around the lakes. That's where most of the condo conversions are occurring, and that's where the most vehement battles have taken place, specifically over the Lander Group's now defunct Lake Street proposal and Stuart Ackerberg's Lagoon Cinema project.

The article slips often into pangyric, almost reminscent of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead:

His biggest regret, he says, is that he didn't seize the opportunity to work with his father earlier.

It is with this new Lagoon project, then, that Ackerberg intends to quell this regret. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime project," he says. "The site is just perfect, and I wanted to do something magnificent [for him]," he says. "I wanted it to be great architecture, to have great magnitude, and to push the envelope of creativity and dynamics. I think it will be something of great interest for a long, long time."

Granted, Ackerberg is charming, and I like his project. But the debate over Uptown development shouldn't be about whether or not a certain building is a memorial for some patriarch. We should be talking about whether or not it fits into its community and surroundings, and what kind of neighborhood Uptown will be in the future.

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