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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Tuesday
Jan172012

Scenes from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Guthrie Theater

In the course of one sultry evening, a prominent Southern dynasty is pushed to the brink when tender memories are relived and life altering secrets are revealed. It's the 65th birthday of wealthy Southern plantation owner Big Daddy and his family has gathered to celebrate, while sparing him the news that he's dying of cancer. As one son Brick, a hunky former football hero, mysteriously retreats from his desirable but sexually frustrated wife Maggie, his money hungry brother and sister-in-law plot to secure more than their share of the family fortune.

Don't miss this Pulitzer Prize-winning gem, an emotionally intense drama that sizzles with passion and greed like you've never experienced before. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is being presented on the Wurtele Thrust stage through February 26, 2012.

Monday
Jan162012

The Week Ahead in Mill City / January 16-22

Sunday
Jan152012

CPED Needs a New Calculator - Izzy's: Good Ice Cream, Bad Neighbor? Part 2

About the Author:  David Tinjum is a resident of the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis, Publisher of Mill City Media, and CEO of St. Paul based software company Customer FX Corporation.

*Disclaimer:  Izzy's Ice Cream is not yet a neighbor, and therefore cannot be considered a bad one, yet.

Izzy's is not the only company offering to buy the vacant lot across the street from Gold Medal Park:

In September 2010, the City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for redevelopment of the site for commercial, residential, industrial, or mixed-use purposes. The RFP contained an asking price of $437,850, which was based on an outside appraisal. The City received one response to the RFP from Shamrock Development, Inc. Shamrock owns the neighboring property and received final City planning approval in November 2010 to build a 150 unit residential project called Park Vista on its property. The City and Shamrock negotiated over the terms of a potential sale of 1100 2nd Street South for several months, but were unable to come to agreement on important issues such as price....(see the document embeded below)

The City's rationalization for refusing the original offer from Shamrock:

The City and Shamrock negotiated over the terms of a potential sale of 1100 2nd Street South for several months, but were unable to come to agreement on important issues such as price and development on the property. Shamrock consistently offered no more than $350,000...(see the document embeded below)

I don't need to draw on my 30 years of contract negotiation experience, or my advanced math skills, to choose the better offer (again, numbers are from the document embeded below):

Izzy’s Offer

 

Sales Price

   $437,850

*Minneapolis Taxpayer Subsidies

   $88,000

Net

   $349,850

*Not shown - $104,000 in additional Taxpayer Subsidies from the State of MN and Hennepin County

Shamrock Original Offer

 

Sales Price

   $350,000

Minneapolis Taxpayer Subsidies

   $0

Net

   $350,000

 

Shamrock’s Latest Offer

 

Sales Price

   $450,000

Minneapolis Taxpayer Subsidies

   $0

Net

   $450,000

 

Congratulations CPED, on negotiating a lower price for a City Minneapolis Taxpayer asset.  If you do enough deals like this you can assure another round of property tax increases.

The Park Vista development will not be built should the City of Minneapolis accept the lowball offer from Izzy's.  There are several factors which make building this shovel ready, City approved housing development next to a factory unfeasible, which CPED is, or should be aware of. We will discuss this in the next installment of this series.

Our Elected Officials Have an Either/Or Choice to Make

This should be easy:

  • $25,000 annual property tax revenue from Izzy's
  • $1,500,000 annual property tax revenue from the Park Vista condos

And

  • $2 million pumped into economy during construction of Izzy's
  • $60-70 million pumped into economy during construction of Park Vista

And

  • $1.2 million from Park Vista in City licensing & inspection fees for construction
  • A tiny (proportionate) amount from Izzy's

And

  • Dozens of high paying construction jobs from Izzy's
  • Hundreds of high paying construction jobs from Park Vista

And

  • Decreased property values for property near the factory
  • Increased property values for property near new luxury condos

And

  • Economic benefit to local businesses from 300+ Park Vista residents vs. a handful of part time Izzy's employees

The economic impact of these two alternatives goes much further than outlined above.  The difference in property tax revenue alone is so great, the question has to be asked:

What is Really Driving this Decision?

An exhaustive search of the public record has failed to turn up anything.  Discussions with some of those involved have not resulted in an explicit explanation.  But, listening to the tone of those involved and reading between the lines of what was said has led me to this opinion:

The City and Shamrock had a pissing contest over the initial RFP, Shamrock lost, now the City is rubbing its face in it, regardless of the best interests of Minneapolis taxpayers.

This Decision Will Result in Higher or Lower Property Taxes

This is an important issue that will have an impact on Minneapolis Taxpayers, and this neighborhood for decades to come.  Please make your voice heard, contact our elected officials.

Part 1 - Izzy's: Good Ice Cream, Bad Neighbor?

Part 2 - CPED Needs a New Calculator (this article)

To download click the downward arrow above, or go to the download page here...

-------------------------------

Please Email the Minneapolis Community Development Committee

In advance of the next meeting (see below) please email the City Council Members with a simple request: "Please vote against the Izzy's proposal".

Email Lisa Goodman, Chair at:

Lisa.Goodman@minneapolismn.gov

cc the members below:

John Quincy, Vice Chair – John.Quincy@minneapolismn.gov

Kevin Reich - Kevin.Reich@minneapolismn.gov

Robert Lilligren - Robert.Lilligren@minneapolismn.gov

Cam Gordon - Cam.Gordon@minneapolismn.gov

Don Samuels - Don.Samuels@minneapolismn.gov

info@thedmna.org (Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association)

Your voice makes a difference in local policy making, please take action!

Please Attend This Important Meeting at City Hall on Tuesday 1/17/2012

A public hearing for the sale of Outlot C, 1100 2nd St S, for $437,850 to River Road Holdings, LLC, an entity affiliated with Izzy's Ice Cream (the staff recommendation), is scheduled for the next Community Development Committee meeting.

When: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Where: Room 317, City Hall.

The public is invited to give testimony, please do so.  

Sunday
Jan152012

Letter to City of Minneapolis Regarding Izzy's Factory

The letter bellow was sent to the members of the Minneapolis Community Development Committee this past week by the Bridgewater Lofts Board of Directors on behalf of it's 400 + residents:

To download click the downward arrow above, or go to the download page here...

-------------------------------

Please Email the Minneapolis Community Development Committee

In advance of the next meeting (see below) please email the City Council Members with a simple request: "Please vote against the Izzy's proposal".

Email Lisa Goodman, Chair at:

Lisa.Goodman@minneapolismn.gov

cc the members below:

John Quincy, Vice Chair – John.Quincy@minneapolismn.gov

Kevin Reich - Kevin.Reich@minneapolismn.gov

Robert Lilligren - Robert.Lilligren@minneapolismn.gov

Cam Gordon - Cam.Gordon@minneapolismn.gov

Don Samuels - Don.Samuels@minneapolismn.gov

info@thedmna.org (Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association)

Your voice makes a difference in local policy making, please take action!

Please Attend This Important Meeting at City Hall on Tuesday 1/17/2012

A public hearing for the sale of Outlot C, 1100 2nd St S, for $437,850 to River Road Holdings, LLC, an entity affiliated with Izzy's Ice Cream (the staff recommendation), is scheduled for the next Community Development Committee meeting.

When: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Where: Room 317, City Hall.

The public is invited to give testimony, please do so.  

Friday
Jan132012

Izzy's: Good Ice Cream, Bad Neighbor? Part 1

They want to build a factory across the street from Gold Medal Park?  With Taxpayer Dollars?  Really?

About the Author:  David Tinjum is a resident of the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis, Publisher of Mill City Media, and CEO of St. Paul based software company Customer FX Corporation.

*Disclaimer:  Izzy's Ice Cream is not yet a neighbor, and therefore cannot be considered a bad one, yet.  Mill City Times, and the author, are opposed to the development of a factory across the street from Gold Medal Park in the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis.

DSC03292

Above: The mock-up of the proposed fortress factory planned for 1100 S. 2nd Street - view full sized image

I like the ice cream Izzy's makes.  I try to make sure I have a pint of Chocolate Chip (I know, boring) in the freezer at all times.  We get it from the grocery store in our building, which is located across the street from Gold Medal Park. However, making good ice cream does not make Izzy's a good fit for the Historic Mill District neighborhood.

It's a Factory, Not a Parlor

An ice cream parlor at this location would be awesome, and if a casual follower of the issue were to believe the spin coming from the Minneapolis Community Planning & Economic Development Department (CPED), that's what's being planned:

“We think it would be a great use to have this adjacent to Gold Medal Park. What a great thing to have an ice cream place there.” Cathy Polaski with CPED in Finance & Commerce.

Sounds pretty delicious, but what is actually planned is a factory. Forget about visions of strolling through Gold Medal Park with an ice cream cone with your family on a sunny summer evening.  This is just one of many misleading statements from our local government officials which the local press has been all too willing to publish.

“It’s also a great fit for the neighborhood’s dynamic mix of residents, cyclists, students, pedestrians and entertainment-goers...” Mayor Rybak said in this Finance & Commerce article.

Really?  A factory? That's quite a stretch Mr. Mayor.  You better check with CPED, they must have forgotten to copy you on the memo about this being a factory rather than an ice cream parlor.

A Factory is Forever, Long Term Planning is Needed

Regardless of what is being produced, once approved and constructed it will remain a factory regardless of which company owns the building.  Future owners of the building will not need any approval from the City of Minneapolis for any use allowed under the Minneapolis Zoning Ordinances.

"It's industrial, but it's a one-story building that makes ice cream," said Council Member Gary Schiff, chairman of the zoning and planning committee. "We're not talking a foundry here." From a recent article in the Star Tribune...

As Chair of the Zoning and Planning Committee, Mr. Schiff is well aware that businesses come and go, but the building retains it's zoning uses.  And businesses, especially small ones like Izzy's, come and go frequently.

According to an article in the Pioneer Press, Izzy's has has expanded, and failed twice in the last several years, only to retreat to it's current single location:

This isn't the first time Sommers and Hammel have branched across the river. In 2001, a year after opening Izzy's in St. Paul, they opened a second store in the downtown Minneapolis Medical Arts Building. A year later, they ran an ice cream kiosk nearby at the Marshall Field's store. They closed both a few years later.  Pioneer Press...

From a community planning perspective, we have to ask ourselves if having say, a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in this location would be bad for the neighborhood.  Yep, that would be an approved use under current zoning, as would a whole host of other uses not nearly as yummy sounding as ice cream.

A Factory Only Possible Because of Out of Date Zoning

Although the land is zoned light industrial, this designation is a relic from the days when the area was a railroad yard. Only 20 years ago this area was considered "skid row".  Today an elegant and heavily-used park – surrounded by residential, cultural, and professional offices – beautifies this repurposed riverfront section of the city.

The City Needs to Hear from the Community

This is an important issue that will have an impact on this neighborhood for decades to come.  As we'll point out in an upcoming installment of this series, so far the neighborhood has had zero input into the decision making process.  Please read on below for details on how you can make your voice heard. 

This is the 1st in a 5 part series digging into everything the City of Minneapolis and the local press is not telling us about this issue.

Part 1 - Izzy's: Good Ice Cream, Bad Neighbor? (this article)

Part 2 - CPED Needs a New Calculator

On Monday: Why Izzy's will kill Park Vista

-------------------------------

Please Email the Minneapolis Community Development Committee

In advance of the next meeting (see below) please email the City Council Members with a simple request: "Please vote against the Izzy's proposal".

Email Lisa Goodman, Chair at:

Lisa.Goodman@minneapolismn.gov

cc the members below:

John Quincy, Vice Chair – John.Quincy@minneapolismn.gov

Kevin Reich - Kevin.Reich@minneapolismn.gov

Robert Lilligren - Robert.Lilligren@minneapolismn.gov

Cam Gordon - Cam.Gordon@minneapolismn.gov

Don Samuels - Don.Samuels@minneapolismn.gov

info@thedmna.org (Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association)

Your voice makes a difference in local policy making, please take action!

Please Attend This Important Meeting at City Hall on Tuesday 1/17/2012

A public hearing for the sale of Outlot C, 1100 2nd St S, for $437,850 to River Road Holdings, LLC, an entity affiliated with Izzy's Ice Cream (the staff recommendation), is scheduled for the next Community Development Committee meeting.

When: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Where: Room 317, City Hall.

The public is invited to give testimony, please do so.  

Below: Summer fun at Gold Medal Park

July 2, 2011 Mill City Farmers Market

Friday
Jan132012

Showing through January 19 - "Sleeping Beauty" from the Film Society of Minneapolis/St.Paul

Where: St. Anthony Main Theater - Screen 3, 115 SE Main Street

When:  See The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul website for a full listing of January 13 - 19 show times.

The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul presents SLEEPING BEAUTY, the provocative directorial debut by Australian novelist Julia Leigh (The Hunter, Disquiet). This official selection of Cannes and Toronto film festivals stars Emily Browning (Sucker Punch, A Series of Unfortunate Events) as young Lucy, a college student possessed by a radical passivity who takes on niche sex work to fund her studies. Australian auteur Jane Campion (The Piano, Bright Star) served as a consultant and mentor to Leigh, and subsequently endorsed a “presented by” credit on the film.



SLEEPING BEAUTY —
Sleeping Beauty is a fascinating depiction of a young woman’s reckless decent into a shocking world of erotic desires. Lucy (Emily Browning) is a young university student possessed by a kind of radical passivity. She lets a flip of a coin decide the outcome of a random sexual encounter and she displays an uncomplaining patience when facing the repetitions of her various menial jobs that fund her studies. One day she answers an ad in the student newspaper and interviews for a job to be a lingerie waitress. But she is secretly being initiated into a world of strange new work; one where she will have to give into absolute submission to her clients by being sedated; becoming a Sleeping Beauty.

Eventually this unnerving experience begins to bleed into her daily life and she finally develops the will to break the spell by discovering what happens to her while she sleeps. With a fearless performance by Browning, director Julia Leigh creates a bold cinematic vision; one where Lucy, both in her clandestine sexual adventures and in her mundane daily existence, lives with the same unflinching and brutal honesty. (IFC Films)

Sleeping Beauty, Director Julia Leigh, 101 min, Australia, 2011, HD