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It's Your Turn: Readers react to Broadway plan

This "It's Your Turn" includes comments posted on the Echo Press Facebook page in response to a proposed $14 million development at the corner of Broadway and Third Avenue. At its Nov. 26 meeting, the Alexandria City Council scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 25 to talk about the developer's application for tax increment financing.

Dustin Klein: I'd be for it as long as they design a building that fits in with the look and feel of downtown. That building looks much nicer than the plain brick building that was shown a few months back. Although four stories may be a little tall for that corner.

Chris Kleine: If this was for low income housing, council would've slammed it through. Build it!

Elizabeth Paul: Looks good but have more unaffordable housing, have some with reasonable rent for once!

Matthew Westad: Rent is based on the economy, supply and demand. If no one is willing to pay then the rent will come down. If people pay it, then rent will go up.

Kreg Anderson: But the real question is, what happens to the ghost inside the Old Broadway building?

Gary Norris: There is no ghost in that Old Broadway building. I worked there; everyone was happy. No one noticed a ghost.

Shannon Chan: It would be sad to see the historical building go for more expensive apartments and empty rental spaces. Just what Alex needs.

Brian Alvstad: This would be the worse place for apartments, LOL.

Carl Kvale: No it wouldn't. This is a great plan.

Brian Alvstad: It's so dang loud there! I hated living on Broadway for that reason.

Carl Kvale: New construction will be more insulated and noise reducing. This project would be a huge boost for downtown and Alex in general. Remember, just because you wouldn't live there doesn't mean others wouldn't.

Julie Bosek: Has anyone tried crossing the street at that corner going to the north? You pretty much have to stand in street to look down Broadway to see if a car is coming around the curve. Kinda an unsafe spot.

Jon Alvstad: I have to LOL at what these developers think is reasonable rent. Do you have any idea how nice of a house you can "buy" for $2,500 a month? Why would anyone rent a two bedroom apartment for that kind of money?

Barb Dau: Just what Alex needs...more apartments.

Deanna Wiersma: Try filling up your empty stores and mall before you plan large new structures.

Derrik Strickler: The mall is privately owned, as would this property be. I'm not sure what entity your comment was directed toward, but one has nothing to do with the other. It's private enterprise and the city would be best served to stay out of the way. A government that governs least, governs best.

Gabriel Anderson: More housing, Higher population helps fill commercial space.

Danny Lee: I think if it goes through there needs to be twice as much parking then what they are proposing.

Connie Roehrborn Aure: So sad...I hate to see this place being torn down. I think little shops in their would be so cool.

Leif Lundeen: This isn't Minneapolis, we don't need to be tearing down old buildings for overpriced developments that don't fit in with the surrounding area. Leave Broadway alone.

Matthew C. Hemming: It's not an old building. It was built to look old in the 1980s.

Jason Worm: Wasn't it not long ago someone said part of their family owned that property and the majority of the main building was built in the 80s and made to look old? Are some saying its historic be because it looks old to them?

Shannon Chan: I think part of what is the building now is original from the early 1900s. I know it was funeral home, some say it was brothel, and then a private home and then a restaurant in the '80s.

Josh Persons: If the developer wants to do this project then let them, as long as they finance it 100 percent themselves. Don't give them TIF. That eventually comes out of our pockets.

Elaine 'Aasness' Kronberg: So sad. I wish there was a way this building could be used so it wouldn't have to be torn down.

Cheryl Austin Tyson: It's incredible that someone would propose this outlandish type of building! Who can afford that high of rent on the wages people make living here? There's enough retail space open already.

Derrik Strickler: Isn't that for the market to decide? If they're willing to leverage their money, what difference does it make to you if they profit or not?

Travis Alexander Marinaro: This is ruining the small town vibe I've grown up in.

Al Edenloff, Echo Press News Editor: To clarify the comments about the history of the Old Broadway building: Only a small portion of the building from 1910 remains. Most of the building was constructed in 1986, 1987 and 1996. The building is not included in any list of historic places.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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