What amenities do you want in a downtown area?

Ground has been broken for a Lunds grocery store in downtown St. Paul. Meanwhile, downtown Minneapolis also has a new Lunds and will soon get a Whole Foods store. Both cities are trying to increase the number of people who live downtown. Today’s Question: What amenities do you want in a downtown area?

  • Ann

    Lots of shelters to protect me from the wind while I am waiting for a bus.Restrooms.Places to sit, both inside and ouside, while eating a sack lunch, reading, and waiting for buses.

  • CLee

    I don’t see myself living in a city, but I do like to visit. However, Minneapolis and St. Paul are so very boring. In order to attract visitors and residents they need to rev up the action. When I lived in Washington State, I loved to go to Seattle. You can walk around outside and shop, listen to live music played in parks, people watch, have coffee at an outdoor café, etc., etc. The atmosphere is exciting and engaging.

    Minneapolis and St Paul are completely lacking in that atmosphere. The downtowns are geared toward M-F, 8-5 workers and the whole town closes up shop when the commuters leave for the day.

    You really can’t have a vibrant downtown if everything is closed in the evenings and on the weekends. My list of amenities includes open shops and restuarants (not just bars), lively atmosphere and lots of reasons to drive into town and pay for parking.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Friendly people.

  • david

    Dog parks.

  • Lance

    My favorite amenity – repeated assurances that downtown is safe

  • Jim G

    When I come into the downtown areas I would like to see helpful, visible, and approachable police officers serving the guests of our cities. This is an example of what I mean: when we visited a family member at HCMC we were especially impressed by the number of staff members who asked if they could help us find our way. We were greeted on multiple occasions over an extended period by friendly smiling faces as they offered direction from the parking garages down the maze of hallways to the proper building, floor, and room. If only we could teach this gift of hospitality to the citizens and public servants in the streets and on the skyways, Minneapolis’ and Saint Paul’s downtowns would truly be attractions in this cold land.

  • Regnar James

    A large lake with lots of islands to paddle my canoe.


  • GregX

    Apartments, townhousess, condos, with public space, a range of restraunts from $ – $$$ -some open really late, bars, coffee shops, hardware store for parts-bits-paint, grocery store ( a real one not a mini mart), movie theater, tailor, banks, some green space, library, book store – stationary store, lots of offices, maybe, a good concert venue, a small chipping/putting range, bike lanes, dog-park, farmers market, pharamacy, emergency-urgent care, repair shop, homeless shelter + social service center , …. lighting. car rental, too and … people … lots of people.

  • Shauna

    Late night food! 24 hour places. I agree with the comment that the downtowns are so geared to the commuters who work there they get so very boring after 6pm. Would be safer, too, to have more people out and about. More residents. More eyes on the streets.

  • Mary

    Traffic control for the bike lanes, more spaces like Pevey (sp?) Plaza, sidewalk cafes and perhaps an information booth.

  • Gary F

    Indoor pistol range.

    Pop some caps at lunch or after work.

  • JasonB

    The usual amenities necessary to exist, but I would emphasize having an overall urban design that makes a city liveable as well as usable. That means an urban landscape with amenities and elements that relate to and enhance human activity rather than just provide for human existence.

    A liveable city is much more than a grocery list of amenities. At a basic level a city like Paris is just like any other with buildings separated by sidewalks and roads. But its appeal is defined by its layout, manipulation of scale, proportions, setback, element arrangement, etc. along with its architectural styles. This is the difference between an expressive, liveable environment vs. monolithic blocks with spaces in-between. Through relatively simple arrangement a city can be an urban wonderland rather than just a utilitarian machine.

  • Rose

    An LA Fitness! There is not one in DT proper, and I would like to go before work or during lunch!

  • Peter

    Hash Bars.

  • Jenny

    24HR Libraries

  • david

    Subways (the trains not the nasty sandwich shops) would be nice too.

  • Jonathan

    Cannabis dispensaries.

  • David Poretti

    We could learn alot from cities such as Munich, Rome or Vienna or (your favorite city here). Put people first, vehicles second. Multiple plazas that invite folks to socialize. Beer/wine gardens, food courts/restaurants, picnic areas, outdoor music venues, public art. An cultural atmosphere that is eclectic, creative, inspiring and inclusive.