Duluth Looking at New Strategies to Expedite Redevelopment

Baihly Warfield
Updated: July 11, 2019 10:43 PM

There is an almost constant stream of traffic outside The King of Creams on East 4th Street. But most of the traffic in the restaurant comes from just across the street. 

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"With the hospital being right there, kind of getting that traffic, especially during lunch. Weekends, we have families come through," Carlin Powe, an employee of four years, said. 

But he feels there aren't many activities that draw people to the Hillside. 

"Like Canal Park. you know, you have all these different buildings down there with restaurants around," Powe said. "And it gives people the opportunity to look at different stores, shop, just hang out, enjoy the sun, especially in the summer. And then grab a quick bite to eat afterwards."

The King of Creams is located in one of 12 redevelopment zones highlighted in the city's Imagine Duluth 2035 comprehensive plan. They are rough areas without any specific geographic boundaries, located in neighborhoods from Gary New Duluth to Lakeside. 

"When we talk about trying to concentrate development in certain areas, I think we need to think about what's going to incentivize somebody to want to do that," At Large Councilor Arik Forsman said. 

He and President Noah Hobbs are asking city administration to come up with some strategies for accelerating future development. 

Keith Hamre, the city's Director of Planning and Construction Services, said his department thinks it's a good idea. 

"We know we don't have a lot of financial resources, so what we see in this proposal by Councilor Hobbs and Councilor Forsman is looking at some more of the nontraditional, non-financial type of resources," Hamre said. 

Forsman and Hobbs suggest things like reducing utility connection fees, expediting the permitting process, looking at zoning and relaxing parking requirements. Forsman called it a "21st-century" approach. 

"What this does is really leverages our ability to say, 'Hey, Duluth is the best place you could possibly live, and you can choose any number of these neighborhoods where we've really invested time and resources for you to be able to do that," he said. 

The council will vote Monday night to ask administration to do a study. They would like results by the end of the year.


Baihly Warfield

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