Letter of the Day (June 7): Dinkytown

  • Updated: June 6, 2013 - 7:05 PM

The Book House is an independent used book store that under a current proposal could be demolished to make way for new developments in Dinkytown.

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

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In response to the June 3 commentary “Save Dinkytown,” in which Matt Hawbaker argues that the business district near the University of Minnesota is imperiled by a redevelopment plan: The author is a nice man who, despite not having read the “Harry Potter” books, is a great clerk for the Bookhouse. However, he and I differ on the issue at hand.

First, I must assure everyone Al’s Breakfast is not in danger of being redeveloped. If it were, even I would chain myself to the wood-shingle façade with the other 49,999 students to defend the establishment.

Second, the university has grown considerably since the last large housing expansions. The “glut” of housing projects going up are not meeting the pent-up demand for housing close to campus.

Third, Dinkytown businesses bring attention to the fact that little parking would be available during construction, but they fail to ask for a compromise of, say, delaying development until the University Technology Enterprise Center site is rebuilt. Instead, they argue that the development should never take place, even though the total project will increase the amount of available parking upon completion.

Last, this building actually will fit with the area. Already, Sydney Hall (six floors), the Chateau (22 floors) and 1301 University (six floors) are within what most everyone would agree to be Dinkytown. Dinkytown has thrived with these developments, and while change can be scary, the latest plans will not ruin the area.

Joseph C. Totten, Minneapolis

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