Even though Mayor Kautz is still touting the wonderment of Burnsville’s Heart of the City as the cornerstone of the successes of her reign, the realities are that the project is continuing its slide downhill towards the Minnesota River below. How many more businesses need to close before Burnsville’s City Council realizes that their pet project is damaging their city and the rest of Dakota County?
While many agree with me that the Heart of the City is a complete and utter waste, there are some that are drinking the Kool-Aid that Kautz is offering and enjoying the sugar high that she has been on since the beginning. Take for example Dean Larson from Burnsville who responded to a recent letter to the Star Tribune about the Heart of the City. If you don’t feel like reading the letter, I’ll just recap it here by saying that Dean believes everything is peachy-keen in Burnsville:
We now have a city park that is used by tens of thousands of Burnsville residents every year for multiple events, weekly concerts and movies. There are some unsold condos and retail space as there are everywhere in the United States. However, Burnsville now has a new shopping center anchored by a new Cub Foods at full capacity. We have a new ice cream shop, a gift shop, a florist, two new coffee shops, a new bank, commercial offices and several new restaurants with more coming.
There’s nothing I hate more than when people feel that because their city is in the same shape as others that it’s all right. Well, just look at Apple Valley and Northfield, they have empty storefronts and condos which were originally meant to sell but are now empty rental properties, Burnsville is fine! Let me tell you right now, it’s not ok. City Councils have dollar signs in their eyes over the tax base that these theoretical buildings will bring and those dollar signs are apparently so big that they blind the City Councils to the fact that their cities look like ghost towns when the plans fail.
Now, while Dean Larson mentions that there are these great restaurants already available in Burnsville and more are coming, I can only beg to differ. Should I really be jumping for joy for the Milio’s that’s in the Cub anchored shopping center? Should I get excited over the boring and awfully tame menu available at Jo Jo’s Rise and Wine at the base of Kautz’ building? Should we all throw Kautz a ticker tape parade for luring the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe from Eagan to Burnsville by throwing incentives at them while the International Chefs’ Culinary Center, a business which has been open since the beginning of the Heart of the City, fails? BTW, thanks go out to reader Greg from Farmington who wrote in via e-mail with that link.
Apparently some people feel that because the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe has been given a huge break to relocate from Eagan to Burnsville’s Heart of the City that we should applaud Kautz’ hard work which she claims will lead to a huge uptick in tourism for Burnsville.
So, what do you think? Is the missing hotel, the vacated Culinary Center, and the empty condos a bad thing or are those failures outweighed by the Cub strip mall, the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe and Jo Jo’s Rise and Wine?