Business and Property Owner Survey
The Bussiness and Property Owner Surveys can befound on the project's interactive website here:
What is the Portland Legacy Project?
The Portland Legacy project is a collaboration between the cities of Bloomington and Richfield who were selected to participate in the 2020 Congress for New Urbanism’s (CNU) Legacy Project. This initiative brings a nationally recognized design firm - TSW Architects and Planners out of Atlanta and Toole Design Group - to engage our communities to explore opportunities and actions both cities can take to revitalize this aging commercial area and enhance access and walkability.
Normally, the process is based on a four-day community design workshop with an emphasis on face-to-face community participation. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the Portland Legacy Project activities planned in 2020. This year, the TSW team will conduct virtual stakeholder listening sessions, a virtual kick-off meeting and provide online engagement opportunities (see link below).
Where is this project area?
The Portland Legacy project encompasses the area within a quarter to half mile of the I-494 and Portland Avenue interchange, with a focus on the area along Portland between 77th St. and American Boulevard. The project area straddles Interstate 494, which serves as a major gateway to both Bloomington and Richfield. See map below.
Why focus on the area around Portland and I-494?
Revitalization: Both Bloomington and Richfield are focusing attention on revitalizing aging commercial areas to create attractive, vibrant places that better serve their neighborhoods and changing demographics. This area developed in the 1950s and 60s and many of the buildings are old with poor access and limited parking. While there is a significant amount of nearby housing, the area lacks safe, comfortable routes for pedestrians and bicyclists and is lacking in landscaping or other amenities. Key objectives are to make the area more attractive, create a sense of identity, and improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and access to nearby parks and businesses.
Coordinate with Major Projects: Two major transportation projects are planned that will affect the area:
- MnDOT I-494 Access Study – MnDOT is evaluating access along I-494 that will result in substantial upgrades to the interchange at Portland Avenue. This presents a unique opportunity to improve the streetscape, enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety, and create a major gateway entrance to Bloomington and Richfield.
- D-Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) - Two D-Line transit stops are planned in the area: one on American Boulevard just east of Portland Avenue and another at 77th Street in Richfield. The D-Line – which is expected to begin operating in 2021 - will extend along American Boulevard and Portland Avenue; traveling through the heart of the project area. There is an opportunity to improve pedestrian and bicycle access between the surrounding neighborhood and businesses to the planned transit stations in this area.
Who will lead the project?
The cities of Bloomington and Richfield are working together on this Legacy Project, which pairs us with a national planning and design consultant who will provide pro-bono assistance for the project.
You are welcome to contact us if you have questions or want more information.
How can I get involved?
The TSW design team will host a virtual kick-off meeting on February 24 at 6:00 pm. They will provide an overview of the project, their observations about key challenges and opportunities, and some initial ideas for revitalizing this area. You can register in advance to join the kick-off meeting here: Blm.MN/CNUKickOff
Whether you attend the kick-off meeting or not, you are invited and encouraged to provide your ideas and comments on the project using online interactive engagement tools, which will be available through mid-March. The link will be available soon.
How will your input be used?
The cities of Bloomington and Richfield are seeking input from residents, businesses, and property owners who use and enjoy this area and who will be most impacted by future changes. Sharing your ideas will help ensure the ideas proposed for this area reflect your needs and wants. The ideas generated during virtual meetings and online engagement tools will be used by the TSW design team to describe guiding recommendations that will be compiled in a report the cities of Bloomington and Richfield can use to set priorities for investments in roads, sidewalks, and property redevelopment.