Hollywood Video building brings

by Michelle Moriarity

The October arrival of Hollywood Video brought a brand new building, rejuvenated business and several disenchanted residents to a Dinkytown neighborhood near you.
Many local business owners are pleased that the store, located at the intersection of Fifth Street Southeast and 14th Avenue Southeast, has brought more clientele into the Dinkytown business district, which withered due to road construction during the past several years.
But members of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association were surprised to find the drawings they approved in April for the structure were different from the design that materialized this summer.
Association president Ted Tucker said when Hollywood Video owner Irv Hershkovitz approached the neighborhood with plans for a video store, blueprints called for an all-brick facade. Tucker said he suggested improvements for the design, but agreed the plans would best complement existing shops in the area.
“What we wanted is to have Hollywood Video fit into the parts of Dinkytown we like best,” Tucker said. “Then when it got built, there was no brick there.”
What Tucker found was a building with two sides composed of cream-colored stucco. The remaining two sides have red brick on the lower portions of the walls complemented by stucco and neon signs on the top halves.
The neighborhood association drafted a complaint to Hershkovitz expressing its dismay towards the changes.
Because the association only serves as an advisory body to such decision-making bodies as the city council, Hershkovitz is not legally required to respond to the complaint.
However, association member Melissa Bean said that this incident will affect the organization’s relationships with businesses wanting to move into Dinkytown in the future. “From now on we’ll be a little more wary,” she said.
But Hershkovitz, who said he also was unaware of the changes the developer made in the design, said he intends to work with the association to find a resolution.
Hershkovitz declined to identify the developer Hollywood Video contracted to build on the property.
In spite of neighborhood complaints, Hershkovitz and other business owners agreed that the business is a welcome addition to the community.
“Thus far, everybody is pleased that a lot more traffic is going through Dinkytown,” said Dan Zielski, president of the Dinkytown Business Association.
Not everybody is pleased about the aesthetic appeal of the new store.
Jessica Sanderson, who lives across the street from Hollywood Video, said she thinks the structure is ridiculous and overdone.
“It really just takes away from the atmosphere,” said the junior economics major. “It just makes the neighborhood look a lot cheesier.”
Other local residents have commented on the bright neon signs that grace two sides of the building. Standard sign ordinances in Minneapolis enforce strict limitations of sizes and quantities of retail signs.
But Dinkytown’s zoning provides an easement for such businesses as Hollywood Video: standard sign sizes are waived for businesses serving more than the immediate surrounding community.
“What they’ve got there is allowed,” said Minneapolis zoning inspector Steve Poor, “but it’s a lot.”