Green Line construction didn't scare businesses from Central Corridor -- quite the opposite

TrainEpiscopalHomesConstruction.jpg
Photos via Laura Baenen
The Episcopal Homes development on the former Porky's Drive-In site is one of many new construction projects along the Green Line.
One of the arguments rail haters made when LRT line being seriously discussed for University Avenue was that construction itself would kill local businesses.

With University ripped up for years, parking would be hard to find, and customers would forsake the Central Corridor in favor of more accessible places, the theory went. But numbers provided to us by the Metropolitan Council indicate that's not at all how it played out in reality.

See also:
Anti-LRT protest on Green Line's opening day was a bust

According to those numbers, from February 2011 to December 2013 -- in other words, the period during which the Green Line was being built (heavy construction ended in late 2012) -- 90 businesses closed on the corridor. But that pales in comparison to the 128 that opened.

Furthermore, while 27 businesses moved out of the corridor, 25 moved within it.

In sum, LRT construction didn't destroy the Central Corridor's business community -- quite the opposite. And with the Green Line barely up and running, Metro Transit says its already attracted $2.5 billion work of new construction and redevelopment in the area. (Metro Transit's claim is arguable -- read this Twin Cities Business report for more on that.)

porkysmidway.jpg
What the Episcopal Homes site looked like pre-Green Line.

Asked to explain the numbers, Laura Baenen, communications manager for the Met Council, cites the nearly $16 million in various forms of business assistance the Met Council and its partners provided to businesses to help them survive during the construction period.

(For more, click to page two.)

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38 comments
jfzellie
jfzellie

There is a subway or above ground train for local passengers in MINNEAPOLIS, that is hilarious, who is riding, I suspect your new immigrants those Somali Muslims. So they can make it faster to the Mega Mall?


Simply wonderful, who is paying for this monstrous waste, , 

and how much does it cost?

What a complete waste of money, simply marvelous.

Minnesota should be spending tax dollars on snow shovels, sand and salt bags, Ice houses and axes to cut a hole in the lake. Studded snow tires, more wood burning stoves


Tell your state Legislators to grow up, stop pretending to be sophisticated, they are not and never will. They are and always will be hicks.


Minnesota government employees are not altered by education or experience, it is not only deceptive, misleading  and wasteful, it is embarrassing.


They can relate to Snow, trashing machines and weather below zero, Minneapolis does not need a super train, they need more snow plows and fewer state employees, less state government.

Remind your state employees, they are not in LA, and  no matter how fast the train or much they spend, the world thinks of Minnesota, as managed and maimed by Minnesota’s hero- Jesse Ventura,

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

Newspapers are getting very good at forecasting doom to drive sales. Touche. I blame us readers not City Pages for headline journalism. 

dekay5555555
dekay5555555

It is easy to predict doom and failure and when that does not happen, move on to another issue.  No responsibility or accountability for the nay-sayers.  I wish they moved to Farmington or Lakeville and enjoyed their two acres of "country". 

Chris Hiatt
Chris Hiatt

"Green Line Construction actually stimulated the economy along Central Corridor." So does blowing shit up and then rebuilding it. #BrokenWindowFallacy

Noel Barrick
Noel Barrick

There were some that closed down during construction due to not having any parking available. I haven't seen any increase in traffic yet, but the line just opened up.

Jim Bjerke
Jim Bjerke

This is like the guy who is all excited about going to the Turf club now. He could have taken the 16 or the 21 or biked all along but it took the miracle train to now get him there? I'm sure all the auto repair shops on University are excited for all the new customers coming by train now as well.

Joe Gardner
Joe Gardner

but, but,but ... those don't take 3 years to rebuild a road..

Joe Gardner
Joe Gardner

You mean people use the train in Chicago? So, trains work? I was told that they will degrade property, ruin business etc, etc, What a concept to have transit like this. I suppose the bus service would do a better job than the trains in Chicago?

Ryan Haenze
Ryan Haenze

More people using transit, more customers

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

$16 million in various forms of business assistance the Met Council and its partners provided to businesses to help them survive during the construction period."


not exactly organic growth

Kimi4188632
Kimi4188632

There is still a lot to complain about in terms of how these projects are being thought out. I am for a transportation network that puts Minneapolis-St. Paul on par with global cities ranked highest for livability. Obvious top scorers are Vienna and Copenhagen. To get to that level of livability, you need a very well developed transport network. One or two light rail lines doesn't even come close. You need commuter rail, street cars, and light rail. The Green Line is somewhat confusing because it has so many stops that in many ways it functions like a street car line. Yet, it is bigger and faster (and more expensive) than street cars. We tried to get the functional equivalent of an elevated or subterranean downtown to downtown fast speed line and a street car line with many stops. The result is a compromise on both. Not enough stops; too slow downtown to downtown. To get the sort of network we'll need to be competitive, we'll need about 12 lines. Maybe over time we'll get it right. At that point, people can live comfortably without cars and the entire University avenue area will be dense, multi-use buildings. Maybe Minneapolis and St. Paul will finally have enough housing and people will be able to live closer to where they work rather than commute 50 minutes. Maybe we'll see actual cities rather than the equivalent of sprawled suburbia across two cities.

Daniel Dp Conley
Daniel Dp Conley

That would make sense. Im sure any construction takes it toll on businesses. However, I would think the business owners would be happy to be located by a transit stop. I live in chicago and everyone here takes the train. And all the stores right by the stops have prime location and a steady customer base. I cant imagine it would be any different in msp.

Anna Alexandra Eleanore
Anna Alexandra Eleanore

I think the original argument was that the owners were concerned about business *during* construction. (I could be wrong here). But anyway, yes I'm sure business was down during construction because it was very hard to park / drive along there for a while. But that should all change now :)

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

I see it's amateur hour again today in the comments section.

Clay Macartney
Clay Macartney

You mean the people pissing and moaning had no reason for it?! Wow! Then that means it was an over reaction for nothing. What next? The illuminati is real and conspiracy theories are all true?!

Jeremy Shelton
Jeremy Shelton

I guess I fail to understand the argument that if there is easy access and transportation to an area how that would destroy business? If reliable transportation is an option it would bring even more people into an area especially if parking is little to none. Well done Minneapolis

Daniel Dp Conley
Daniel Dp Conley

Businesses in close proximity to mass transit stations see more customers?!?! Who would have thought!? :-/

Jeff55414
Jeff55414

Yes, but therein lies the problem with your argument: We're not Chicago.

Jeff55414
Jeff55414

But that's assuming that more people will be using the Green Line than those who used the 16/21 buses. That remains to be seen.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@Kimi4188632 While I'm not a fan of subsidized anything - especially mass transit - I would like to see it done correctly.

It is really a half-assed solution to have the light rail 'on grade'. They should have buried it.  

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@Kimi4188632 Problem:  Most don't want to live in Density.   Most like their cars, yards, grass, and freedom to drive when they want.  That's just human nature.   Look at the Urban areas of Mpls/St.Paul, much of it exists because the occupants  cant live outside of Urban core.  But obviously most don't want to live in St. Paul and Mpls, because they have the income to live in the Burbs and they want it that way.    Why do you want everyone to live in Density?  

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

Like the Episcopal Homes ? Dying to get it there!

green23
green23 topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 @Kimi4188632 ...and roads are free? Highways are a massive subsidy for those with cars. 

If you truly believe that gasoline taxes/licence tabs completely finance the highway system, then you aren't dealing in facts.

I guess that you favour toll roads, bridges -- even toll streets within the city.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kurt124 @Kimi4188632 Where does she say that she "wants everyone to live in density?" Why did you capitalize density? And one would say, why do you want everyone to live in a densely populated area, not "live in density." Also, why do you comment on an English language website when you have little, if any, command of the English language?. Do you have a GED or are you still trying to pass the tests? 

Jeff55414
Jeff55414

@kurt124 @Kimi4188632 Another problem is that we have 2 downtown cores, which creates a clusterfuck on the 94 (in both directions) during the rush hours. The Green Line will do NOTHING to resolve this.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1 That's one of many. Good try though. You should probably change your name to lie-teller because you're basically full of shit.

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