I’ll be officing here starting this week, mostly in the mornings t 8:30-noonish (yes, I’ll maintain my corner office at GBM 6-8:30am). The main room has plenty of work spaces, plus a fridge, microwave, coffee pot, water cooler, lockers, and a copy machine/network printer. Not visible: fast wi-fi.
The back (east) room has three areas: a lounge, a big meeting space in the middle (tables, chairs, digital projector), and a smaller conference table in the back. The outdoor deck area (right photo) will have tables and chairs.
Last week’s City Council work session discussion of the Streetscape Taskforce Recommendations (P. 15 of the packet) had this item on the list:
Purchase of property to address perceived needs of Downtown Parking issues and potentially assist with increased parking need by future Library project.
The NDDC provides a Guide to Parking in Downtown Northfield. Ross has blogged about parking issues for years (example, here). There have been several studies of downtown parking (eg. the Walker Study, the Stolley Report, others? links?).
Here are some low-hanging fruit questions of an uninformed blogger:
How often are the diagonal and parallel parking spots on Division completely full?
Do downtown business owners and their employees too often park in these spots or is that a myth?
How rigorously do the police enforce downtown parking ordinances?
What do we know that has worked and not worked in other downtowns of our size/type?
Regardless of the strange wording (“perceived needs of Downtown Parking issues” – do issues have needs?) and regardless of what happens with the Library expansion, downtown parking is an issue that should be fun to argue about.
In the meantime, the now-empty Community Resource Bank parking lot is a perfect spot for a temporary skateboard plaza!
I spoke with Community Resource Bank CEO Don Kuehnast on Thursday who confirmed that they’re intending to move their downtown branch to the Phoenix Building at 7th and Division. A public notice appearing in today’s Northfield News says:
Notice is hereby given that Community Resource Bank, Northfield, Minnesota has notified the Minnesota Department of Commerce of its intent to relocate the detached facility/branch, a distance of approximately .5 miles within Northfield from 25 Bridge Square to 618 Division Street, Northfield, Rice County, Minnesota 55057.
Kuehnast said the ‘intent’ language is required by Federal regulators and he was careful to use it with me in my phone call with him.
Reporter David Henke reports in today’s Nfld News:
Last year, the bank filed a permit with the city indicating that it would move its downtown branch to the Phoenix Building, the former site of Lansing Hardware. But the bank chose not to move after its lease at Bridge Square was extended by First National Bank, which owns the property.
Kuehnast would not comment on whether the bank is still considering a move to the front portion of the Phoenix Building.
Federal regulators have ordered Community Resource Bank of Northfield, Minn., to strengthen its loan portfolio and ensure that it has adequate capital. The 132-year-old bank, which has $240 million in assets, must improve its loan review process and reduce its delinquent loans that have balances exceeding $500,000. The bank also was told to come up with a plan to "maintain sufficient capital."