Friday, August 24, 2012

A "Vision" of Auditor's Road

The mayor (around 1:45) has recently said that the "Vision" for a pedestrian downtown in Mound didn't work, and he's taking steps to change them. He continued that the idea of a 'Mixed Use" district has been tried and is failing all over the place, and doesn't work today. The realigning of Shoreline Drive created the Pedestrian District, and so now people don't have to cross the busy street anymore.

From the Mound Harbor Renaissance documents. Are these guys around to defend their 'vision'?

This issue is raised because it's clear something is going to happen along Auditor's Road in the next year or two. It sounds like the mayor is getting frustrated, like we all are, that nothing is happening. A massive parking garage was constructed so that the developers and city would be successful in attracting a restaurant to the area, but that was unsuccessful.

The mayor seems to be suggested the "Visions", nice as it was, fell short, and the idea is '20 years old' and won't work today.

I would argue that perhaps it fail because of the economy. There are lots of empty lots and space throughout the west metro that is auto centered that hasn't worked. Look around the retail space at Target in Waconia and the empty, practically abandoned undeveloped large acre resident lots in Minnetrista. Things came to a stand still for everyone.

The HRA plan, it's only accomplishment was the Lost Lake Villas, and those were foreclosed.
Mound has a very precious jewel in the space along Auditor's Rd that's been unappreciated for a long time. It's next to the largest street intersection in the immediate area, is next to the parking garage we constructed, and the Dakota Rail trail. I know some cities would love to have a blank slate like this to rebuild a downtown around. Do we just hand ours over to the next person who asks for it?

Does Mound throw away years of careful deliberation.  There is A LOT invested on these properties, and I'm not only talking about road construction. Huge updates in storm sewers and utilities were made, lake restoration, public docks, Auditors Road itself, acquiring property. It is important that the city is capitalizing on these investments with efficiency. What is the better payoff for the city; parking lots, or real property developement. This not only means having successful businesses and residences, but making the most of the space in revenue generated for the city.

In argument in late May, the mayor acknowledged that the Walgreen's proposal was perhaps, 'mislabeled' pedestrian, and was, in fact, auto-centered... what about the rest of the Harbor District? Will be planned this way if Mound is going to rethink it's 'Vision?'

So finally the question is this... What kind of "Place" will Mound Harbor District" be?

Pictures aquired from -


  1. What do you know about the possibility of a regional arts center being part of what happens on Auditors Road?

  2. I'm on the Lake Minntonka Regional Arts Council, and have sat in a couple of information meetings about an arts center being built, along with retail and a hotel along Auditor's Rd.