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Plan Brings 'Remarkable' Progress In Downtown Duluth

Posted at: 11/13/2012 3:55 PM
Updated at: 11/13/2012 10:42 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

Over the last several years, eastern downtown Duluth has seen a crop of new businesses pop up that focus on art and culture. It's part of a plan set up by city leaders called Duluth's Creative Corridor project, and today those officials had a big announcement.

The plans started in 2005 when national experts helped the community form a vision for the area. A plan to make Duluth a great urban place to live complete with art, culture and a thriving economy. In 2011, the experts evaluated the progress, and they said the development is remarkable. The report stated Duluth accomplished what would take other communities two decades to finish.

"Back in the early 80's, as I've often mentioned, Duluth was one of ten most distressed cities in the nation," Duluth Mayor Don Ness said. "Today we are in a very different place."

Ness was proud to talk about the improvements made in the last seven years, he said Duluth's setting also plays a big part in allowing the city to thrive.

"What we have to offer, you can't recreate in the suburbs," Ness said. "You can't recreate our natural beauty. You can't recreate our historic downtown. You can't recreate a sense of community that we have right here in Duluth"

While a lot has been done already, there is still progress to be made, according to the report. Some of the next steps include creating better housing options, marketing for the area and joining forces with big institutions like universities and hospitals.