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You Can’t Attract Walkable Retail Without Walkable Housing

10:46 AM EDT on March 14, 2014

Some who want to live near amenities that come from having a lot of people living relatively close together, like cafes and small markets and shops, are also resistant to the type of development that makes walkable retail possible.

There's no interest in retail development in this area, after residents shot down a plan for high-density housing. Image: Streets.mn
There's no interest in retail development in this area, after residents shot down a plan for high-density housing. Image: Streets.mn
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Julie Kosbab at Streets.mn offers this example from a suburb of Minneapolis, where residents seem to draw absolutely no connection:

In Blaine, there has been a very suburban kerfuffle: Within a large, multi-builder housing development, there were several commercial plots. Despite the housing boom in the area, no one would step up to develop them as commercial, because no one wanted to occupy a potentially developed property. Why?

Lack of density, of course. While most of the development was planned for low- and medium-density housing, one of the biggest protests in Blaine City Council history was when a builder proposed a 157-unit luxury apartment complex on a nearby plot. Nooooo, not luxury apartments! Why, they can ruin a neighborhood! They might be… too luxurious?

Due to neighborhood protest, the plan for this added density was shot down.

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