Riverfront Redevelopment and Downtown Northfield

This morning at The Grand, the Northfield EDA hosted an Open House on the Riverfront Redevelopment Site. It was a well-attended gathering and included current Mayor Keith Covey, Council Member Dixon Bond, Mayor-elect Lee Lansing, Council-elect Arnie Nelson and Council-elect, current EDA President, Scott Davis, and EDA members Joe Hargis, Tracy Davis-Heisler, Paul Smith and Dave Shumway. There were also many downtown building and business owners as well as a host of friends of downtown.

For some photos of the event and the attendees, as well as links to documents that were handed out/shown, see Griff’s blog post below.

There was a presentation by John Shardlow, of the consulting firm of DSU, of the priorities developed by the City Council, the EDA, City Staff and DSU. The list included:

  • Mixed-use Development
  • Owner-Occupied Housing
  • Architectural Elements that “reflect and reinforce” Downtown’s historic character
  • Extension of Design Elements and Amenities found in Downtown and along the Riverfront
  • Human-Scale Design, balancing Pedestrian traffic with Vehicular traffic
  • Orientation toward the Cannon River including Visibility, Access and Connectivity
  • Adequate and well-conceived Parking

It is an impressive list of priorities. They are all thoughtful and important considerations for the redevelopment of that site.

The NDDC believes that the Redevelopment of what is popularly referred to as “The Kump Site” and the adjacent “Lubbers Property” could provide a powerful economic stimulus for Downtown. We therefore strongly support the redevelopment of the site and have some of our own priorities. The project must:

  • Be Economically Viable.
  • Take advantage of the timing of the Highway 3 construction work next summer and redevelop the riverfront site during the same period, thus limiting the inconvenience to the community.
  • Solve the Highway 3 issues, particularly the east-west connection and safe-crossing issue, as part of the project.

We believe that these three priorities are important for the success of the Riverfront Development Site, the Downtown and our community as a whole.