Pearl, Brooklyn Centre Downtown
From The Master Plan - Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation
The Pearl Road corridor in Brooklyn Centre acts as the northern gateway between the two communities of Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn. The northern-most edge is formed by Pearl Road’s intersection with Garden Avenue, while its southern boundary is the Lower Big Creek Valley. It is characterized by a mix of office, commercial and light industrial uses, many of which are newer structures compared to the rest of Brooklyn Centre.
The Brooklyn Centre portion of Pearl Road is predominantly characterized by a pedestrian-oriented, walkable environment that is reminiscent of traditional urban neighborhoods. However, some stretches of Pearl Road within this study area diverge from this standard and are characterized as having a more “suburban feel.” Indeed, some older buildings have been demolished over the years, and newer businesses adopted the more suburban model of up-front, street-level parking lots that are less in keeping with the traditional urban fabric of the area. Although there is quite a bit of foot traffic in this area, the current land use pattern is automobile-dominated and somewhat unfriendly to pedestrians.
A pedestrian-oriented streetscape is especially important here due to the neighborhood’s reliance on mass transit, and its proximity to major employment centers including MetroHealth Hospital and the MetroPark’s Zoo. However, some historically significant structures remain as anchors in this area, including the Masonic Building on the southwest corner of Garden and Pearl Roads. Immediately to the north is an old fire station that was rehabilitated and now houses an architecture firm. These building provide excellent examples of rehabilitation that is consistent with the urban street pattern and aesthetic. . Many opportunities exist in this focus area to connect these centers of employment, commercial attractions, and transit hubs using the remaining historic characteristics as a starting point. Furthermore, the now vacant YMCA building overlooking the Lower Big Creek Valley is a prime space for redevelopment and reuse.
Remove excess utility poles
Make set-backs, sidewalks, and landscaping visually consistent
- Work with business owners and property owners at Pearl-Denison intersection to create presence at the sidewalk-level, including improvements to landscaping and signage and marketing at a pedestrian-scale.
- Work with business owners throughout the focus area to landscape near the sidewalk in order to “hide” parking lots or unattractive uses.
Encourage facade enhancements
Encourage facade enhancements of existing single-story commercial buildings to improve the street-level experience.
Adopt the pedestrian-oriented overlay district in the area along Pearl Road north of Selzer Avenue.
Redesign and reorient bus stops to appear safer and more welcoming
Reduce presence of billboards, where appropriate.
Promote retail uses on all corners of the Pearl-Denison intersection as redevelopment occurs.
Encourage automotive repair shops
Encourage automotive repair shops currently located near the intersection of Pearl Road and Denison Avenue to less prominent retail/pedestrian –oriented areas.
Encourage reoccupancy of the YMCA Building.
New construction should be located at or near the sidewalk
New construction should be located at or near the sidewalk on commercially-zoned vacant land in order to reinforce a pedestrian environment:
- Corner lot of the southeast corner of Pearl-Denison intersection
- Corner lot at Pearl Road and Selzer Avenue.
Celebrate the distinction of Brooklyn Centre
Celebrate the distinction of Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn neighborhoods by enhancing the Brooklyn-Brighton Bridge. Create a “gateway between communities” through the installation of a permanent structure such as an archway spanning each side of the Bridge and installing attractive and colorful banners along the length of the Bridge.
Enhance the presence of architecturally and historically significant structures through appropriate restoration
- Masonic Building
- Browns Bowling Lanes