Monday, March 03, 2008

Entertainment Districts

Entertainment districts are curious beasts. Cities that don't have them, want them. Cities that do have them often struggle to contain their side effects. Cities with too few of them look for ways to build them up. Cities with too many of them start playing favorites with police presence, infrastructure funding, zoning variances and liquor licenses.

As far as I can tell, Minneapolis has two major such districts. Hennepin Ave & 1st Ave, both of which stretch sort-of north south along the city's downtown, as well as Uptown (a neighborhood a bit south of the city center). Both of these districts are fairly lively, and attract a good-sized crowd at night.

What are the long-term prospects for our entertainment / nightlife districts in the city? St. Anthony Main is an interesting proposition. It offers stunning views of the city, and in good weather is unbelivably well-attended. In the cold weather months, it pretty much shuts down. Why do some districts continue to thrive in winter, whereas a place like St Anthony Main goes into hibernation?

Also: how many consumer dollars are really available for discretionary spending in the metro area? Will New Urbanist outposts in suburbia eventually drain those dollars from the city core?


Blogger Ed Kohler said...

St Anthony Main is dead in the winter because the only reason to visit the bars down there is for sitting outdoors checking out the skyline. The service and prices don't justify visiting year round, which is a shame.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Generalissimo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Generalissimo said...

Gross should follow this topic by exploring the pros and cons of living in or near an entertainment district. In DC, Adams-Morgan, U-Street and Georgetown are happening areas. The price of condos and apartment rent is a pretty penny in those areas. Proximity to the fun, yes; insulation from the noise, no. Or what happens when a sleepy corner of the city all of the sudden gets -- a baseball stadium! Residents in DC are not thrilled and parking is going to be a big issue.

11:43 AM  

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