Joe Urban | Sam Newberg, Urbanist

The Many Perspectives of Affordability

Dateline: 3:31 pm February 22, 2019 Filed under:

I was happy to see the Star Tribune counterpoint this week pushing back against a piece from earlier in February calling for reduced developer fees in order to make housing more affordable. The for-sale housing construction industry has every right to make this issue its priority, but as this week’s piece pointed out, communities need to pay for public amenities like parks and other things. We like nice stuff. I can accept the argument that part of the social contract in the Twin Cities is we have higher expectations for our public realm and developer fees are higher as a…

Minnesota Didn’t Need Amazon Anyway

Dateline: 4:41 pm November 27, 2018 Filed under:

Kudos to Twin Cities leaders for not offering the kitchen sink to Amazon, as it seems the company had New York and Washington in mind all along. In the time it took for Amazon to decide what city (cities) to build its new HQ2, the Twin Cities added nearly half of the jobs it would have gained from landing Amazon. It does beg the question – what are we doing to attract future employment and talent to the Twin Cities? And do we need Amazon anyway? A quick back-of-the-napkin calculation (I order my napkins and pens from Amazon) reveals the…