Category Archives: Downtown issues

Last Chance to Dance…with the Dog

Ah, in my mind it will be a waltz.  And the music will be provided by The Band, with appearances by Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, and Muddy Waters, along with a few others…including another Canadian.

For over 6o years, Tiny’s has served the people of Northfield.  Young and old, natives and aliens, carnivores and vegetarians…all were welcome.  On Saturday, July 31st, it all comes to an end.  Due to a variety of financial burdens, and the considerable challenges of running a small business, owner Tim Sellers is closing down. Continue reading Last Chance to Dance…with the Dog

Minnesota Main Street Returns

Many of you know that the NDDC organization was based on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Main Street Program.  Some you might be aware that I’ve been serving on the state steering committee to bring the Main Street Program back to Minnesota.  Well, we succeeded.

Earlier this month, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota signed a contract with the National Main Street Center to officially launch Minnesota Main Street as the statewide coordinating program.  This action was taken based on an agreement with the Minnesota Historical Society for a $100,000 grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to finance this work. Continue reading Minnesota Main Street Returns

100 Mbps to My Desk

100MbpsToMyDesk.jpgWell, I only went with 4 Mbps. However, I understand that a number of downtown businesses have gone with 10 Mbps and one business is at 50 Mbps.

100 Mbps to your desktop IS available to businesses in Downtown Northfield.

The NDDC switched over to the St. Olaf Telephone company late last week. Here is their Jack-of-all-trades, Jeremy Bokman, installing the new line.

I’m not anything near an expert on this topic. What I understand is that you can get internet service that is as fast as anything available in the world…in Downtown Northfield.

Commercial Property Taxpayers Get a Break in Downtown Northfield…

CommercialPropertyTax1stHalf.jpg…at least on their drinks.

Last Friday a number of Commercial Property Owners in Downtown Northfield took advantage of the half-priced drinks for anyone bringing in their tax statements to several local establishments. A few of them posed for a photo in Bridge Square.

As many of you are aware, commercial property taxes in downtown Northfield have risen over 30% a year for the past seven years or so; the total increase since 2000 is well over 200%. With rents remaining stable, there is no longer sufficient cash flow to address building operating expenses, much less maintenance and improvements.

The tax payment due-date confirmed this grim reality. The dozen or so commercial property owners with whom I spoke last week all had to either draw down their savings or borrow money from the bank to pay their tax bills.

The situation is not economically sustainable. Our architectural, commercial, and cultural health, heritage, and hope is at risk.