A scant twelve years ago talk of the Lincoln Street Bridge was hot, and we as a city were poised to spend $80-$90 million to get it built. For many, the four-lane, one-way bridge over the falls in unison with the River Park Square was a critical element in saving downtown and the redevelopment of the mall. The downside was that it would have created a west-side version of the Division-Ruby couplet. Fortunately for us the bridge was defeated, the Riverpark Square is a success, and new residential development is sprouting up on the north bank like crazy.
Fast forward to last week and the announcement by SRM Development of a two-tower condo project on the current site of the YWCA. Each tower could be upwards of 150 feet in height and contain 100 units each. That's big...and expensive, pushing the $100 million dollar envelope. You can bet these won't be entry level, but as these projects continue to add to the residential housing queue in on the north bank (Upper Falls-32 units, Upper Falls East -30 units) we have ourselves the beginnings of a neighborhood. It's definitely a win for the YWCA (who's moving a few blocks north), and for downtown.
It's hard to say whether or not development like this would be happening if the Lincoln St. Bridge had been built as planned. We're certain though, that the north bank is a better place without it.