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Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Recent example of a Target Express mini-store in an urban Minneapolis area.

 ON TARGET—As MidCity consumers let us judge the merits of any project (retail or residential) that is being proposed in the urban core.

Case in point: Is the arrival of the proposed Target Express store (14% of the big store) good for South Park or any MidCity neighborhood?

Granted, the landlords could have done a better job reaching out to the community to learn what the residents of the area thought was needed in that space. But they didn’t have to--so they didn’t.

But as citizens, we have a right to express opinions to the landlord and the city officials.

Yes, in many cases landlords have been swayed by organized and civil public opinion.

Any of us can contribute to the public debate, however the media should understand voices of the few do not represent the community as a whole.

Ask ourselves are the naysayers the usual NIMBYs or are the voices in opposition coming from organized opposition, including civic clubs in the area, community associations, respected residents and the in place community planning groups?

But before we grab the tar and feathers to swab NIMBYs or the landlord, let’s drop Councilman Todd Gloria a note stating our thoughts.  Input is key.  We elect district representation to speak for us.  That’s why we pay them the big bucks, right?

And, let’s ask ourselves a couple of questions.  Honest answers will probably be enough to sway you to a decision.

--Will I shop at the newbie business being proposed?

--Are the products offered something that the MAJORITY of the neighborhood could use?

--Does this business have a good reputation?  Are the owners good neighbors in other communities?

--Will the parking lot be available for neighboring business to use?

--Will the new business be of wider service to the whole community than the previous one.

--Will the previous business be sorely missed?  Hardly missed?

In 1997, North Park News led a huge editorial campaign to keep a big box out of North Park because the big box was gobbling up a prime one block stretch of University Avenue and that big box was turning its back on the street—walling off one block.

The community didn’t let the newspaper speak for them.  Instead many banded together as diverse groups with the same agenda.  Many spoke at community association meetings; many spoke at citizens planning groups, many offered feedback on what alternative ideas the space could be used for.

In that way, the community was truly united.

All community groups made stands.

City fathers and mothers listened.

Action kept the big box out of North Park.

Fortunately, no one waited until an anti-spokesman could be found.

Media coverage:

UT San Diego:

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