Thursday, January 03, 2008

Quote of the Day: Jerry Trooien on Squishy Liberals

"We’ve done everything we can, but the squishy liberals think small-scale is morally superior."
That's Jerry Trooien (in the New York Times), a developer who's sore about the St. Paul City Council voting 5 to 2 not to change zoning laws to allow construction of a multi-use project called "Bridges of St. Paul." It would be St. Paul's biggest project ever, across the Mississippi from downtown.

"As it was proposed," reported the Times, "the Bridges would have created a retail destination covering 350,000 to 450,000 square feet; a Westin, the city’s first new full-service hotel in decades; and more than 1,000 housing units, as well as a riverfront promenade, a marina and a public attraction called Mythica, a kind of theme park devoted to exploring the myths of cultures from around the world."

But squishy liberals stand in the way of progress.

Thomas Fisher, dean of the College of Design at the University of Minnesota said the real problem was that the plan should be on the downtown side of the river. “It doesn’t connect to existing streets or the rest of the fabric of the city,” he told the Times. Which of course proves that squishy liberals have totally infiltrated the University.


Blogger k said...

Forget the NY Times, I met Trooien and heard him discuss his grand plan at a Chamber of Commerce meeting two years ago. He has an impressive diorama, but the plan just didn't have any place beyond the drawing board. Nobody was for his fancy development. It was a Young Professionals meeting, so a bit more liberal than some stereotypical Chamber event, still his plan didn't connect.
It would have been a forced marriage and disrespectful to the character of Saint Paul. Saint Paul isn't much of a Central Planning society.
Maybe if he was bringing another NHL team to the Twin Cities or he was moving the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota to the West Side. If he was bringing in a major industry like replacing the Ford Plant, he might have had traction. It would have to have been on that scale to disrupt the character of the community as he wanted to.
Trooien is a great salesmen and his sparking building were gemlike. He wowed us with a computer simulated flyover of the facility. He talked about economic revitalization which everyone loves, especially in the Chamber. By the end of his presentation, we all knew that this project had no heart. It just wasn't Saint Paul. It wasn't Minneapolis. It wasn't even suburban; it just wasn't.
The sad or shall I say disingenuous part was that Trooien always played up his roots on Saint Paul's East Side. He used it as the ultimate Saint Paul cred. He was a long way from hard scrabble and he wasn't even on the East Side. Again, this project just wasn't.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I always thought that conservatives were more squishy than liberals, due to the diet of fried food, fatty meat, and beer. Of course I also eat those things, and I'm not a conservative. But stereotypes are fun.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Christopher said...

You know what gets passed over in this whole affair? That we could have had a place called Mythica. Really, I want to know more about it. Would Mythica be controversial, and cover things like Christianity...or perhaps global warming? Or would it just focus on the same ol' snake charmin' half-naked boogie-woogie shaman (smoking, of course) that we see in the old talkies? (of course, when I write that, I immediately assume that Robin Williams has played that character in half a dozen films...)

10:48 AM  
Blogger k said...

The Mythica was a really cool component of the project. It was a museum based on myths of the world. It would be the premeir museum to explore the different culture that created them and really open the public's eyes to the role of myth in society.
From what I remember, this seemed like a folklore dream. Unfortunately, it was tied to an overblown project.
The Bridges project expected too much from "synergies". Synergies shouldn't need to work across this many projects. It seems a bit like electricity when spread across a plate instread of a wire, its effectiveness just isn't there to the same degree if you have to many elements linked to it.
Mythica could stand alone and it shouldn't have been a carrot.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know Jerry Trooien and all I can say is that this couldnt have happened to a nicer guy.

5:00 PM  

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