Everyone should care about fate of Dinkytown

Shouldn’t Third Ward Council Member Diane Hofstede want her City Council legacy to read, she saved historic Dinkytown?

Many people in Minneapolis and elsewhere value the historical and cultural character of  Dinkytown’s four-block commercial core and its importance to the lives of generations of University students and alumni. They look to Diane to lead support for such values. This requires that she eventually oppose the Opus Corp. project that wants to tear down Dinkytown’s small locally owned businesses — replacing them with six-story upscale student rental apartments.

“Save Dinkytown” has picked up thousands of supporters throughout the cities, suburbs, out-state, and the nation who endorse its petition opposing the upzoning that the developer needs to proceed. Everyone realizes that if this developer gets from the City Council the spot upzoning it needs to do this project, then other developers will expect the same, and many more of Dinkytown’s businesses will be destroyed for such rental projects.

Moreover, this issue is larger than just an isolated Third Ward development proposal.

Other neighborhoods in Minneapolis could also be threatened by developers who want to spot upzone their small locally owned business districts to displace those businesses with high-rise condos or apartments.

Mixed-use commercial and higher-density residential development can be an invaluable tool for revitalizing economically depressed neighborhoods. But the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood surrounding the Dinkytown commercial core is awash in new higher density apartment buildings going up. It is not necessary to destroy an iconic part of life in Minnesota, Dinkytown USA — a cultural treasure with locally owned small businesses — simply for the sake of a developer’s profits.

Council Member Hofstede, please oppose developers bent on destroying Dinkytown  — on your watch.

Gordon Kepner