mpls: "A" Mill Is a Go

Well, the zoning commission approved the Pillsbury mill condo project -- without even shaving a floor or two off the top of the four 20+ story towers. The only consolation they threw to the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) was to require facade changes: less glass, more "stone." (The Strib story.)

A committee of the Minneapolis City Council gave approval Thursday to the most controversial aspect of the project, the four towers of 15, 20, 24 and 27 stories.

The council's Zoning and Planning Committee rejected the recommendation of the Heritage Preservation Commission, which determined that the towers would be so tall that they would dwarf the Pillsbury A Mill complex, a National Historic Landmark.

I thought the arguements of the HPC were a bit weak, personally, and the developers were coming into the battle with the huge advantage of having two neighborhood NRP groups on their side. I think this is the right move to make.

In fact, I'd bet that if this project hadn't gotten the consensus of the NRP groups, it wouldn't be happening. In a sense, a lot of the political power in Minneaolis is at the neighborhood level. Mpls city officials know that, with turnout decreasing, solidified voting blocks like neighborhood organizations have a lot of influence.

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