No There, There

The question remains: with 85% of downtown workers not working downtown, and at least 10,000 of them never coming back, how much is this article about skyway businesses sodtpedaling the reality?

Steve Cramer, the president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, says only 15% of the typical workforce population works downtown right now.

Several businesses in the Skyway are closed at least temporarily due to COVID-19. Cramer couldn’t specify how many.

“We probably will see a few less of those establishments when things kind of bounce back, but when things bounce back, that will create new opportunities for growth so we’re looking for that hopeful day as well,” Cramer said.

In theory, yes – if Governor clink ever “allows“ things to go back to normal, it’s hypothetically true that all those empty skyway store fronts will provide a world of opportunity for the next round of merchants.

Provided, of course, that people come back – that working from home doesn’t gut the commercial real estate market – and that the public safety situation downtown doesn’t keep businesses away

7 thoughts on “No There, There

  1. expect Big Tech to do here what they’re doing on the coasts where they are buying up tranches of office space leases at bargain rates

  2. It’s been a few years since I’ve been downtown, but I remember what struck me when I was there was that shopping and dining downtown was pretty much on life support already.

    Really, most of the blame goes to city government and businesses that bought into the notion that you could have a thriving downtown without good storefronts. COVID is merely administering the coup-de-grace to businesses that have been in trouble for a while.

  3. Libturd logic: if the storefronts are open, the public will come back. Because there is nothing more exhilarating and satisfying like doing your shopping in the skyway.

    And Pig is absolutely correct – follow the money as to who will be buying up DT real estate for pennies on the dollar. I bet you will find out they are the ones most vociferous and enabling of the lockdown hoax.

  4. On the one hand, the old maxim “real estate is valuable because they’re not making any more” is almost entirely true (accretions and sand islands notwithstanding).

    On the other hand, the old maxim “location, location, location” is almost entirely true as well, and in the short term, over-rules the first maxim. A buildable lot in North Minneapolis isn’t worth nearly as much as one on Lake Minnetonka.

    The question is which location is downtown Minneapolis more likely to resemble in the next, say, two years? Because that’s about all the rebound time people are willing to give nowadays. If it takes longer than two years for prosperity to hit downtown, people will abandon it. See, for example, downtown St. Paul, which was inhabited by mostly by bums and thugs after 6:00 p.m. even before the Covid, because all the office workers went home after work. And that was without the city council actively trying to kill downtown.

    I’m not optimistic about downtown Minneapolis.

  5. jdm
    while Big Tech has actively championed Work From Home (it sells product after all) it is worth noting that they are still building large campuses when they expand. What Big Tech has discovered is that while certain classes of workers do well in WFH environments, others don’t with a resulting loss of efficiency, productivity, and team cohesion. Plus WFH doesn’t scale well because of infrastructure load issues. Infrastructure is what core cities have in abundance see Manhattan, SF, Portland,etc

  6. Infrastructure is what core cities have in abundance see Manhattan, SF, Portland,etc.

    As long as that infrastructure isn’t on fire, and the workforce isn’t being mugged in the parking ramp or at the transit station, or the trucks hauling goods aren’t high-jacked.

    We’re not at that level of dystopia here, yet, but I have an acquaintance who worked for a tech company in Rio de Janiero in the 80s. Crime and “infrastructure” in the third largest city in Brazil were such that he sent his daughter to school in an armored car with an armed security guard, and he and other execs took helicopters from the top of one skyscraper to another for meetings, rather than drive the streets.

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