Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Toasting Success on West Broadway!


Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman

This morning marked a significant gathering of partners along West Broadway. Much of the work, spurred by Ackerberg Group offshoot Catalyst Community Partners, has already been profiled here on Johnny Northside.

However, one thing many partners realized was that there are many people and institutions working on revitalizing West Broadway, but we don't meet and coordinate our efforts often enough. CM Don Samuels chaired this get-together, and we commemorated it with a toast to the many success stories of West Broadway. We didn't use REAL stuff, like we've done in the EcoVillage or at Harvest Days, but the toast was special nonetheless.

Among the things we celebrated were...

...Minneapolis Public Schools' decision to move their headquarters to NoMi, the ongoing renovation of the Delisi's building at Penn and Broadway, new businesses like Good Sports Bar & Grill, and the phenomenal work of Catalyst - including the building at 1200 West Broadway.

On top of Samuels' presence and that of an aide (we'll miss you Jose!), representatives from CM Johnson's office, CPED, the Pohlad Foundation, Catalyst, Hennepin County, the West Broadway Business Coalition, and many other partners were in attendance. And even though we met on a weekday morning, several area residents came as well.

One other item worthy of note: this blog has already documented the success rate of Catalyst hiring local and minority workers on their projects. But Mike Christenson of CPED noted that on the 300 residential rehabs done by city development partners such as GMHC, PPL, PRG, or Urban Homeworks, 70% of the contractors used have been Northside contractors. Our partners have been intentional about doing their work in a way that maximizes benefits for our community.

But this wasn't just a self-congratulatory meeting. We also wanted to discuss barriers and roadblocks so that we can begin to work around them. One issue that thankfully came up was...



...Hawthorne Crossings. Presumably they meant Hawthorn (sic) Crossings, and hopefully an influx of financial assistance will correct the spelling. But that's not all we plan on doing. All signs point to some serious measures to address the safety issues along that block. Given how far we've come and how quickly, it's truly encouraging to think of what can happen in this area as well.

One of the residents also brought up the need for transportation improvements along the corridor. Hopefully, that will include a light rail stop at Penn and Broadway, but what can be done until then? This wasn't QUITE along the lines of the topics we had gathered to discuss, but public transit in NoMi could stand to be improved and her point shouldn't be lost in the shuffle.

All in all though, I left the meeting thinking of what Don said during his campaign, that in four years, we won't BELIEVE the kinds of amazing changes that will have come to West Broadway! A HUGE thank you goes out to all our partners who are working to make this happen!

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

The move of the MPS HQ to Nomi is a bad move. It doesn;t add any vitality other than parking issues. Shouldn't it be more centralized? Why can't they move into one of the abandoned schools throughout the city?

Patrick said...

I'm glad to see you guys are working on Public Art. We need a lot more Public Art in NoMi, it is one of the most important things we can do. Great work guys.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see a stop to the bashing we usually see on here. Little updates like this are far more preferred to move this community ahead.

Anonymous said...

Why is there a brand new(almost) building,The Harry W. Davis structure, sitting on Glenwood avenue doing nothing?Do not even try to tell me me that it is being properly utilized because i will tell you the exact opposite.I want to know why,in these truly odd and bizarre times, that it is okay to play games with taxpayers money and build a brand new structure when you have a perfectly good one sitting in NORTH MINNEAPOLIS!Are you the same crowd that knocks the Vikings for having the nerve to build frivolously at the taxpayers expense?Should the money go towards books and teachers and students? You are damn straight it should.Is the facility on Glenwood not North Minneapolis enough?Spare me the pats on the back shit and,by the way,what the hell are you being paid for Don Samuels?You couldn't carry Harrys jock strap.Show some common sense if you expect it out of other people.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see you guys talk about something positive instead of whining and crying. I hope this is the start of a new theme on this blog.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

To the point that the move of the headquarters is a bad move, I'll say this: I'm not educated on the intricacies of whether this was the right move for the Minneapolis Public School system itself. I do know that bringing an employer to the area will be a boon, and the people working and visiting there will need to eat and shop nearby. The move is tremendous for the West Broadway corridor. Oh, and parking issues? The site has a parking lot.

Patrick, I have a hard time deciding if you are a real person who is at times more extreme and sarcastic than John or myself (no small feat), or if you are a troll who agrees with this blog in such an extreme fashion in an attempt to make our positions seem out of touch. If you are a real person, this particular comment doesn't help.

Anon 7:52, I wish all stories could be this positive. But John has a theory called "market and romanticize the struggle." He can articulate it better than I can, but the part I really agree with is that we should raise the profile of the good things in our community but not ignore our difficulties either.

Anon 8:31, to a few of your points:

I'm admittedly not very familiar with the building you mentioned. It appears the MPS has already made a decision though, so what other uses do you propose for that site?

Harry Davis was an amazing man and you're right that I probably couldn't live up to him if I tried.

How much is Don "paying me" for posts like this? I'll tell you. I work my tail off for my community, and I support CM Samuels (who isn't even my councilperson, by the way) however I can. In return, I get an elected official whose dedication to public service is unrivaled by anyone I've ever met. I'd say I come out ahead in this deal.

Anonymous said...

Hey Hawkman are you being a tad narcissistic? Who are you and what makes you think my comment was about you? I told Don he could not carry harrys jockstrap but then no leader nowadays could even come close I admire Don samuels and i admire John Hoff and you do not have an idea about the man i knew personally from the old Phylis Wheatley days and the old Wells community center that was on 5th bryant avenue north.I am Boathead and iam back but forgot my google password and that is the only reason my moniker does'nt pop up or whatever.I do not know how you figure shit because you obviously think i said don was "payingyou" so you really ought to read what i said and heed it.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

While I'm at it, a comment about trolls.

If we wanted to, we could either shut down the comment function entirely or make it so that commenters would have to identify themselves with a valid email address. But anonymous commenting is an important part of free speech. So is the assumption of an identity, even for the purpose of articulating a viewpoint that may not be your own.

(Another part of free speech is the freedom of a blogger to delete or approve comments as seen fit, I might add.)

John and I also use sarcasm or satire to make points as well, and that too is an important and valid type of speech. Just ask Al Franken, or Jesse Ventura, or...you know what? Just ask Al Franken.

So weeding out the trolls is a difficult task, and one that we may not navigate perfectly. For that I do apologize. But trolls add nothing to the conversation and are not part of a true dialogue.

I can guarantee this much; we'll be around and doing what we're doing long after the trolls have run out of steam.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Boathead,

I wrote this article and in your comment you consistently used "you." I think it is reasonable for me to assume that when no specific audience is mentioned, "you" refers to the author of the original article. I wasn't being narcissistic; I was merely responding based on my interpretation of your grammar and syntax.

But I posted your response for the purpose of clarification.

Anonymous said...

It is nice to know that whoever you are that you are responsible for this blog in some manner. Who are YOU to ponder whether my comment gets posted on "T%he Adventures of Johnny Northside"?I thank YOU for doing little old me that favor...sacastic font or whatever the hell that means.How YOU interpret my grammar or syntax is a joke.I have alot of useful info that i think might help john but whoever you are and why he lets you run his business is beyond me. Gee i hope YOU post this.

Pond-dragon said...

Agreement with Anon 7:52 AM
The positive change feels better:

This comment doesn't necessarily fit here but is as good a spot as most.

I think we should resist the temptation to immediately attack folks on a whiff of some connection between party A to party B, and perhaps think twice about taking out our vengeance against the easy or old reliable targets. Let's try to spend more time doing the right things in building a better NoMi and a little less with the rhetorical knives carving it up. The rhetoric may may you feel good, but in the end perhaps more detrimental to our cause. We can't succumb to the distant trolls, and discontents fueling their ignorance by using our neighborhood as their battle ground. What makes good (Blog) may not always make good community.
(Yes I've done it too) I'm just saying, its time for a change.

Anonymous said...

I think any addition to NOMI is a good thing provided that the residents are able to vote on the matter and also have the right to remove any organization that we find not helpful.

Patrick said...

Hawkman,

I appreciate your constructive criticism. I will take it to heart. I feel very strongly about Public Art, but sometimes my enthusiasm can be off putting for some.

Point well taken.

Anonymous said...

I actually think NOMI gets shorted on the public art aspect. Take the drinking fountains. We are supposed to get ONE! I would argue there are many more folks in NOMI that could use free city water than in the more wealthy parts of Minneapolis.

Anonymous said...

Great post Pond-Dragon. I think a lot of the reason there are so many trolls/critical people posting is because all of the negative energy generated by attacking landlords, butt glass and other associated irritants. Negative energy breeds more negative energy.

Let's focus on more of the positives and not spend so much time attacking people.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Pardon me if this is a dumb question, but is any business going into 1200 W. Broadway? I've seen what looks like wallpaper and other construction-type stuff inside since last September. Obviously, that means renovation is going on, but I was just curious as to what will eventually be there.

Also curious if something's being done about the building next to Tree Trust and the old laundromat next to the bakery. A while back, someone was inspecting the boards and the inside at the building across from us, and not too long ago, I noticed lights on in the laundromat.

Anonymous said...

I believe 1200 W Broadway is going to offer Payday Loans and possible a Title Pawn service.

Susan Snowhill said...

I am sure your mother would agree with me that you should not get an online payday loan to buy her a Mother’s Day present. In fact, if she is like my mother, she wouldn’t even approve of putting a gift on a credit card.

Johnny Northside said...

No, stupid troll, it's not.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Well then, what is going in it? Anything yet?

NOMI 4 Ever said...

Ok smart guy, it's not? Well what is going in there, please be useful and don't just post troll like comments like "no it's not". You are supposed to be a mover and shaker around here so act like it.

Anonymous said...

A payday loan and a title pawn store? Really?

:-(

That sucks. I thought we were making progress around here, but I guess not.

Anonymous said...

Recent academic studies of the no fax payday loan industry suggest in a clear, supported manner that the loan product is imminently useful to consumers with less than perfect credit who require short-term budgetary assistance. Dean Karlan of Yale and Jonathan Zinman of Dartmouth recently published a study entitled “Expanding Credit Access: Using Randomized Supply Decisions to Estimate the Impacts” which can be found at http://www.cepr.org/Pubs/new-dps/dplist.asp?dpno=6180. In this study, a strong case is made for not only allowing no fax payday loans, but encouraging expanded offerings of microcredit to all, but particularly those who have been traditionally unserved or underserved by the banking establishment.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

Okay, first off, I don't find the claim of yet another payday loan/check cashing place to be credible. That hasn't been in any of the discussions I've heard about 1200 W Broadway and it also does not seem in line with the kind of business that Catalyst and the Ackerberg group are bringing to West Broadway.

And yes, short-term financing for people with damaged credit is a necessary product. But the vast majority of payday loans are done in a predatory manner that winds up creating a cycle of dependence instead of financial stability.

It's like if I were to dig and cover up a series of deep pits along a popular hiking trail. Then if you fell in, I would come along and sell you the rope you would need to climb back out. Of course, I have to sell the rope at the prevailing market rate for those who are stuck in a pit, and that costs three times as much as the rope at a hardware store.

Finally, Anon 3:20's link goes only to a summary of a research paper, and that research appears to be about micro loans worldwide and not the appropriateness or sustainability of many payday loan financing models in Minnesota or the US.

Learning On Saturday said...

Thanks for that thoughtful response. Your example with the rope is excellent.

Joni Bonnell said...

1200 West Broadway is home to numerous businesses including: The Peace Foundation, Northside Achievement Zone, The Alden Group, Housing Link, Northway Community Trust, Catalyst Community Partners, Tri-Construction, and a few others. There is NOT going to be a pawn shop or PayDay loans in the 1200 building. The west side of the building will house two new businesses as well. Construction begins in a week on Kindred Kitchens, a food business incubator and commercial kitchen, and by this fall, construction should begin on a new, sit-down restaurant that will seat approximately 100 patrons, (inside and on the patio).

Janell said...

Thanks for the update on 1200 Broadway. Is it possible that the restaurant could be open late like 2:00am?

la_vie_en_rose said...

Thank you for saying what's going in there! I've been wondering for a long time what's going on with the front part of the building.

A sit down restaurant sounds nice. Any idea what kind of food will be served?

(Also, I'd really like to see a Japanese-themed restaurant in this area. Any chance of that ever happening or is that wishful thinking?)