Yet More Thoughts on the Q Block

Back in mid-May, I blogged about the Q Block. I suggested that, if as part of the future redevelopment of that land, a substantial built presence, like a two-story structure with a near-zero lot-line, along the highway corridor would contribute to a safer crossing of Highway 3 by creating an obvious visual clue to north-south drivers that they had entered our town.

Knowing that adequate parking would be a key to economic success of the project, I suggested a possible model for this type of development. I referenced the structure at Grand and Victoria in St. Paul. It has a parking ramp hidden behind zero-lot line retail. (See my May 20 post.)

I still think that it’s a good idea.

There are rumors that one of our beloved downtown coffee vendors may be considering opening another location, this time as a drive-thru. I’m all for economic expansion, especially by a long-time, local business. For a moment, I was stumped.

Then I went to Hastings…


Here’s a picture of a coffee drive-thru that is part of a two-story structure. Just combine this concept with the near-zero lot line and the parking ramp hidden in the building’s interior and you’ve got a great possible design solution to the challenge of the Q Block.