Retail No-Man’s Land

Count me amongst the Twin Citians that had no idea that the next leg of  the Twin Cities’ light rail system — the Central Corridor along University Ave. — was so far along.

Traveling in the area this morning, I had expected to see a couple blocks under construction, with the attendant traffic snafus.

Instead, I encountered a miles-long stretch of construction on University running all the way from Highway 280 on the west, to Lexington on the east.

Good New, Bad News

As a big fan of light-rail, I think it’s great that the project is advancing so fast (and I’m happy to report that behind most of the orange traffic cones and barriers were actual, busy construction workers).

But it was hard not to notice that the retail businesses on the south side of University were virtual no-man’s lands.

I had assumed that the line was going to be built out incrementally, to minimize the hit to local businesses.

My assumption is that tearing up all the streets at once serves some financial and/or construction imperative.

If instead it’s about creating jobs in a recession, it would only seem fair to balance the interests of University Ave. businesses against those of the construction workers.

P.S.:   one down, two to go:  with the terrific 35W-Highway 62 upgrade now complete, that leaves two remaining metro bottlenecks:  1) the Lowry Tunnel connecting 394 to 94; and 2) Highway 100 in St. Louis Park.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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