Clyde Park and the Duluth Heritage Sports Center Development Spurs Lincoln Park Neighborhood Revitalization

Duluth News Tribune, May 2010

2008 Economic Development Association of Minnesota Award Winning Project (EDDIE)

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth Heritage Sports Center and  the Boys & Girls Club are already there. Clyde Park Restaurant and Event  Center is open. The new Duluth Children’s Museum

Duluth Heritage Sports Center, Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth Heritage Sports Center, Duluth, Minnesota

is on the way.

These developments are providing  major boosts to the city’s Lincoln Park community. The impact already is being  seen with the Sports Center and Boys & Girls Club, which are drawing people  from all over the city.

So what better time to help these  and other Lincoln Park enterprises by identifying the potential customer  markets, local leaders say. “It will help you in making business  choices,” Helen Dunlap, a consultant for Local Initiatives Support Corp., told  a group of business and community leaders at the Harrison Community Club on  Monday. Dunlap explained the aspects of the  study to the two dozen people gathered there.

“It’s more of an economic  development plan,” said Pam Kramer, LISC’s executive director. “What can be  done to support what’s here and what’s coming? How do we grow jobs? And how do  we grow business opportunities in Lincoln Park?”

Besides the revitalization of the  Clyde Iron Works block, Dunlap said Lincoln Park is a unique combination of  residents, light industry and retail including a hub of furniture stores.

“Alone, they would struggle,” she  said. “But collectively, it’s a host of opportunities.”

Preliminary findings show the  potential customer base goes beyond the 6,000 residents and 5,000 employees of  the community’s 440 businesses. It also includes the customers outside Lincoln  Park who come to shop for furniture, building materials, hobby and sporting  goods, automobiles and parts and for home improvement providers. It also  includes potential tourists who will visit Clyde Park and the new children’s  museum.

It also found that people are not  coming to Lincoln Park to buy clothes, appliances and general shopping nor to  eat and drink. Moreover, neighborhood residents are going elsewhere for that,  as well.

“Furniture dollars come in and food  and drinking dollars go out,” Dunlap said. Randy Brody, a partner with  Aerostich, said the final results — expected later this year — can be used to  attract businesses to the area.

“It really gives you a profile of  the entire business and residential community in Lincoln Park,” he said. “It’s  valuable to any Lincoln Park business. For us, it also helps us understand  where the neighborhood is going. And it’s important for those interested in  locating here.”