Downtown Minneapolis boosters are split over the news that Dollar General is putting a store on the ever-more-desolate Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.
On the one hand, you’ve got the one that chortle at all the “People of Walmart”-style stories they associate with Dollar General – a chain usually associated with towns too small or neighborhoods too poor for a Walmart.
On the other hand you’ve got the “aren’t we better than this?” mob.
Yes, “tacky” and “depressing” are two words to describe the appearance of a dollar store on what is widely viewed as Minneapolis’ Main Street, a thoroughfare that recently underwent a $50 million makeover. “Distressing” could be another, since the appearance of this type of merchant might be an indication that downtown’s dwindling retail scene is taking yet another step in the wrong direction.
The store’s new home in the Andrus (the historic building formerly known as Renaissance Square) at S. 5th Street and Nicollet Mall won’t be sullied with a glaring yellow-and-black Dollar General logo. Instead, there will be a hip “DGX” marquee, reflecting Dollar General’s curated version of its discount store.
So what does it all mean, for a street that the city of Minneapolis just spent tens of millions of dollars refurbing (and BLM and “Anti”-Fa spent a couple of nights hacking away at)?
Why, it’s almost as if when you treat a major city like an urban studies lab, make driving onerous and parking prohibitive, and treat public safety as a sign of misbegotten privilege even if someone hasn’t burned down your favorite destination (or closed it forever via a hamfisted lockdown), the people from the outlying parts of the city that downtown used to depend on for all that juicy revenue will take their money elsewhere?