Building A Downtown Neighborhood (We Hope)

As mid-sized American cities go, Minneapolis has a fairly thriving urban center. But what the city has always lacked is a heavily populated downtown neighborhood to anchor its impressive cultural scene. A new building spree aims to create that sought-after mix of residential and commercial space, but Minneapolitans have seen this type of ambition before, only to see the grandest plans fall to the budget knife or the wrecking ball. And at the core of the debate is the question of what makes a neighborhood vital: is it upscale boutiques? Affordable housing? Lots of coffee shops and bars? Easy access to theatres and baseball games? The goalposts seem to move with each passing year.