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Quote Me, Howie: Don Ness, Gary Doty, Daniel Fanning on Lot D development

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I invited legendary former Duluth mayors Don Ness and Gary Doty and Daniel Fanning of the Duluth Chamber to comment on the planned revitalization and redevelopment of Lot D located near Pier B in the Duluth Bayfront district. Their comments:


Ness – “This sort of brownfield redevelopment requires patience and foresight. Heidi Timm-Bujold was the driving force behind our efforts. She is so passionate about the massive challenge of breathing new life into highly contaminated sites including projects like Clyde, Pier B, Atlas Cement, and countless other sites. Her tenacity and reliability allowed Duluth to earn the trust necessary to unlock millions of clean-up funds and a reputation of a city committed to this work. The Amazon facility in Gary and the potential of development at Lot D are the direct result of the efforts she was making 10-15 years ago. This is the sort of long-term thinking that we desperately need in government.”


Doty – "Lot D, while a difficult parcel to develop because of its location to the bay, seawall issues and contamination, is a prime site that can become a valuable asset and addition to the Canal Park/Bayfront District. I am pleased that there is potentially a developer willing to take the calculated risk of making Lot D a place for local Duluthians and tourists to enjoy. Of course, it will be a great addition to the tax base for the City of Duluth. The developer will need to work closely with DEDA and the City of Duluth to make sure the interests of the public are served as well as theirs, with any changes that are made. I expect the developers would and should be open with what their plans and seriously evaluate the public input by the citizens of Duluth as they perform their due diligence process. I wish them the best and hope that Duluthians will work together and not just be a roadblock for a potential project. 'Developer' is not a bad word. They are needed to provide growth for Duluth. I hope everyone will work together to make positive changes on the Lot D site."


Fanning – "The vision for Lot D would be transformational for Duluth and the region. In addition to significant economic development, tax-base growth, hundreds of millions in private investment, increased commerce, dedicated parkland and extension of the Lakewalk, and many construction and permanent jobs, Lot D would also provide hundreds of units of much-needed housing as well as additional hotel beds. The vision also potentially includes a restaurant, distillery and the possibility for UMD’s Large Lake Observatory to be located there as well. Imagine coming into Duluth, off I-35, and being welcomed by seeing this beautiful and vibrant hub of positive activity and commerce, instead of what has been a desolate lot and eyesore for far too long. The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce has been working with the developer, the City of Duluth and DEDA, and other key community partners for over a year and continues to help advocate for this and many other regional legislative priorities. I was in Saint Paul again this week and joined the bill’s chief author in the House, Rep. Kozlowski, and the City of Duluth at the Capitol Investment Committee Hearing on Wednesday. The Duluth Area Chamber was proud to join labor leaders, the City, the developer, and UMD in strong support of the request for state funding to help restore the site, which would include environmental cleanup and seawall infrastructure. We will continue to do all we can to help support continued progress as we know this project would help support other local businesses and Chamber members, as well as our regional economy." 

Rep. Kozlowski, the bill's chief author in the House, and Fanning (right) at a Capitol Investment Committee Hearing on Wednesday. Submitted
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