Wednesday, January 10, 2007

32nd Avenue through the years

I'm was inspired by fellow Grand Forks blogger JGS's recent map detailing ongoing construction projects along 32nd Avenue South. Instead of just looking at what is currently being built, I decided to branch out and take a look at the 30 year history of the busy retail corridor.

The satellite image below shows the 32nd Avenue corridor between I-29 to near South Washington. Each commercial building in the area has been color coded to show during which decade the building was constructed. Yellow=1970s, Blue=1980s, Green=1990s, and Red=2000s. Please take into consideration that I was only born in the early 80s so I'm guessing whether a few of these buildings are from the 70s or 80s. Still, I think the coding is fairly accurate. Also, I know the buildings are tiny on the map, but they had to be if I wanted to get the entire strip in one picture.


For those of you who are less than comfortable with maps, the big yellow shape is Columbia Mall, the large red shapes on the left are SuperTarget and the rest of the Grand Forks Marketplace, and the green shape with a big red box around it is Wal-Mart.

After finishing the map, I found it interesting to note just how much construction took place during the 1990s. Granted, several buildings were constructed after the Flood of 1997 as replacements for flooded out structures elsewhere in town, but a large amount of construction took place even before the flood.

Next, look at just how much red is on the map. These are all buildings that have been built since 2000. When you consider that this is only the start of 2007, it is amazing how much construction has taken place in just the first part of this decade. There already looks to be almost as much - or even more - red on the map compared to the amount of green. In other words, the 32nd Avenue strip saw plenty of construction during the 1990s, but the current decade has been booming so far.

You might also want to take note of the fact that there aren't many spots left along 32nd Avenue these days. Grand Forks' prime shopping corridor is almost full.

8 comments:

Charlie said...

Impressive map! Thanks for taking the time to give us a snapshot of development!

dale said...

Cool map.

I would, however, point out that the Columbia 4 Theatre was added in the 1980s, not 1970s. They put it up while I was at UND from 1980-1987.

Anonymous said...

Sadly enough...both theatres look as if they've seen four decades...

Sorry...but I couldn't resist.

GrandForksGuy said...

Dale, thanks for pointing that out. That's one that I was a little unsure of. I remember going to a movie there back in 1983, but it must have been very new back then.

Ok, now don't tell me any other errors or you'll just make me sad.

Matthew K. Hartman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew K. Hartman said...

The "prime" corridor along 32nd may be getting full, but it's only time when the west side of I-29 begins to fill up. I'm not sure how much land along 32nd the city owns west of 29, but if they own enough or choose to annex, these will be prime areas for development for years to come. Many large cities have businesses on either side of interstates, if one traverses them. Driving east or west through Fargo/Moorehead on 94, it's very apparent. Once a large corporation takes advantage of this opportunity and develops here, I'm sure more will follow.

GrandForksGuy said...

Matthew, the only problem with that is that the 2035 Land Use Plan doesn't show a great deal of commercial space set aside west of I-29. The plan only shows commercial zones on the south side of the avenue and none on the north side. The north side is designated for the new "office park" zone the city is creating. Also, there are already several industrial properties along that portion of 32nd (Longview Fiber, Grand Forks Grocery, etc.). Stores and restaurants aren't usually very anxious to set up shop next to a factory or a warehouse.

vcsuvike said...

I do think 47th will eventually host large retailers and restaurants. The city should develop along the Interstate because it would show-off more to travelers.