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Free Rent for a Year in Duluth: Go Downtown, Grow Downtown

Go Downtown. Grow Downtown

The Greater Downtown Duluth Council and a bunch of other organizations are offering free rent for a year plus free advertising, business planning and technical support for two businesses in Downtown Duluth. Click the picture for contest details.

One of my obsessive Duluth-oriented twitter feeds led me to this on the Star Tribune website. I couldn’t find mention of it in the online Duluth News Tribune, but they are a sponsor so I’m sure it will get in there sometime, (unless maybe they’re hoping to bring in outside ideas first).

Free rent for a year? And who said this town wasn’t business friendly. I’m all for revitalization in Downtown Duluth. I hope it works.

23 Comments

Karasu

about 9 years ago

I could be wrong, but I think it was on the front page of the DNT when they first announced it.

wildgoose

about 9 years ago

Yeah, you would think so.  Does anyone have a link I could share from the DNT, preferably a non-paywall link?

Chad

about 9 years ago

It was in the DNT Jan. 20.  The story is pay-walled, but here's the same article on a third party website: 

You can win a storefront in downtown Duluth

Claire

about 9 years ago

It's a fabulous idea! Downtown Duluth is *rocking* these days, especially Old Downtown, with its hip restaurants and bars and interesting store fronts. I never did like the other side of Lake Avenue, that Holiday Center is a monstrosity.

Elvis

about 9 years ago

Someone should get a nice French bakery going, Washburn and Ashland both have stellar French bakeries who are making Duluth look bad.  Parking is  a problem in the DT.  I appreciate being made with love, but I'm not  crazy about 3rd Street bread, they don't have crust.  Their cookies are swell, for what, $25/dozen?  And while I'm ranting, a burrito as big as your head that doesn't cost ten bucks, but has been downsized to  'big as your thumb' would be nice too. Are they (you know who) charging for napkins now?  Maybe I can start printing up my own coupons.  Should there be a new pizza place?  I don't think there's enough pizza around here. Or burgers. Or peanut butter and banana sandwiches with fried coconut.

zra

about 9 years ago

at 14 bucks a square foot or better for most of the properties managed by Oneida and A&L, you better have plenty of reserve at the end of that year...

I've been thinking of grabbing the brass ring, but the cost of retail real estate makes a lot of what I want to do completely cost prohibitive.

hunter

about 9 years ago

sustenanceartisanbreads.com/ in soup town ...delicious .....

SlapShot

about 9 years ago

Retail jobs?  While I'm all for entreprenuership, getting all excited about a small retail shop opening in Downtown Duluth isn't really warranted.  Not exactly "living wages" as the folks on the left would point out.

But best of luck to the parties that win -- may your calculated risk-taking pay off for you.

zra

about 9 years ago

Why do these discussions always have to go political?

zra

about 9 years ago

Perhaps I should have wrote: Why does every discussion have to go political?

Claire

about 9 years ago

Agree with Zra. And does not mean necessarily retail. I think a strong, vibrant downtown leads to a strong, vibrant city. I'm all for creating a critical mass of entrepreneurs downtown -- whether or not they're hiring.

Ben Damman

about 9 years ago

If anyone would like to help steer a proposal for a downtown coworking / hackerspace / high speed internet hub please contact me. firstname.lastname at gmail

Need

about 9 years ago

Get ready for Duluth's first Halfbakery.

adam

about 9 years ago

(What equals out to about) $1,300/month and a 3 year lease doesn't sound like much of a giveaway. Especially on that end of West Superior Street.

@Ben Damman: Absolutely. As long as it also serves as a swank, astrological love-lounge.

SlapShot

about 9 years ago

It is retail:

"Aspiring entrepreneurs will compete with their business concepts and plans for the opportunity to open their own retail store downtown."

My point is that if you're going to put money into something like this, why not do it in a manner that will create something more than a couple of minimum wage jobs for the college students? Especially since said student will most likely walk across the stage, grab their diploma and continue on to their already-loaded vehicle to move back to the Cities.

They gotta think bigger than this.  They'd have better luck if they put this money into luring tech startups and other budding industries to Downtown Duluth.

Marios

about 9 years ago

Oh, you mean like the hugely successful "Tech Village"?

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Slapshot, your point is valid, but I think in this case the availability of vacant storefronts suitable for retail drove the process. It seems like something a lot of people will bite on and hopefully the winners will be successful.

Luring manufacturing and tech start-ups is trickier. That isn't to say no one should bother -- there organizations like APEX working on that every day -- but it's much more difficult to offer meaningful incentives to those types of businesses. If you can't convince them the existing infrastructure in Duluth will provide them the workforce, transportation options, etc., they need, a little free rent doesn't help much.

For someone with a good plan for retail, though, this is a great offer.

Elvis

about 9 years ago

Second Slapshot, no shit eh! 

 "Think big Henry"  Nixon

Bad Cat!

about 9 years ago

Part of bringing large companies here is to have enough interesting things in the area to attract the employees that they'd have to hire. Adding new retail and nightlife to downtown adds to Duluth's interesting-ness rating.

Elvis

about 9 years ago

I guess Adam was right on the money with the Astrological Love Lounge then.

Zeito

about 9 years ago

One thing the shop will have is a post on PDD with 20 comments.  I'm going to take a look next time I walk by.  I'm going to notice what's there next spring.

Paul Lundgren

about 8 years ago

Business North reports that the winners are Dan Neff, Wendy Myers and Kelly Letko.

Great Space Giveaway to assist three entrepreneurs

adam

about 7 years ago

Lake Superior Art Glass will be opening very shortly at 202 East Superior Street.

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