Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mound Magic aftermath


The Mound city staff shared some interesting information about the past and future of Mound development. I'm not going to dwell on the history here, except to say that it is impressive how Mound had started to refocus its downtown development the last 20 years, and there were many points made that we at "A Place in Mound" liked to hear like looking to build toward the long term, and to be cautious about building a hotel.

It was mentioned a couple times how much the Dakota Trail has increased traffic to downtown Mound the last couple years, referring to it as "Gold" and reminding us that Mound didn't put a dime towards it's construction (thanks Three Rivers Park District). The trail is estimated to have over 400,000 users this last summer. One of the biggest news items out of the meeting was intention of a LOCAL resident to own and operate the restaurant that will be built right next to the trail and Walgreens. It will be a very small building, but is intended to serve meals produced from ingredients found locally. I can report that I've heard the owner has been in discussion to get some of it's produce from Gale Woods Farm, and I'm sure will be reaching out to other local farms. The restaurant is to be call "Dakota Junction".

As has been reported before, the Walgreens people have been really surprised at the interest of this little restaurant  I just wished that Walgreens had made more space for other retail, instead of wasting space with a drive through.

There is still discussion about bringing a senior residence center to downtown, but they are now looking to build it in what they are calling the Langdon District, which is the block west of Commerce, south of the Dakota trail, and north of Our Lady of the Lake. No details about exactly where, or how big this facility would be.

The Auditor's Road development was also talked about briefly and with no real detail. Staff said the city has been approached by two developers. One has plans that include a hotel and restaurant, the other developer is discussing a hotel, restaurant, and Performing Arts Center.

Looking forward, the staff is planning to suggest the City Council conduct a Market Study of Mound. I guess this is where one has an 'expert' come in, analyze Mound's situation, and share information about Mound's ability to increase housing, hotels and retail.

Staff is also proposing that Mound conduct a citizen survey to get input and direction for Mound development. Look for that in the New Year.

There was a lot of discussion about the appearance of Mound, and urging everyone, residents and businesses to improve the appearance of it's properties.

In case you missed last nights event, Kandis Hanson and Sarah Smith will be doing this presentation again on Monday, November 19th at 7pm at Al and Almas.