There goes the neighborhood

Development companies are destroying the character of student neighborhoods.

Editorial board

With two campuses and more than 60,000 students, the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota are filled with scholars. Students have come to love the neighborhood landmarks, whether convenience stores, parks or churches âÄî they give their neighborhoods a special character.

But upscale housing complexes now litter student neighborhoods, from Sydney Hall to the 412 Lofts, and even more are under construction. These new buildings are indicative of the direction our neighborhoods are going: profit-maximizing developments that are good only for the developers but come at the expense of residents.

Companies have not been afraid to tear down neighborhood landmarks to build these generic and extremely high priced living options either.

Last year, the historic Harvard Market in Stadium Village was demolished to build one of these apartment complexes. The small grocery store was conveniently located near student neighborhoods for 106 years. Now it will be just another apartment complex with a CVS on the ground floor.

And last week, the University Lutheran Chapel in Dinkytown announced that its owner is selling it, with plans to replace the historic church with yet another new apartment building. Half of the churchâÄôs congregation was students.

The unique character of student communities and neighborhoods is being erased by large companies who are only after money. In the past few years, several overpriced apartment complexes have replaced local landmarks. ItâÄôs time for students to stand up for the local spots, and tell the development companies to stop tearing down the buildings that make our neighborhoods worth living in.