Minnesota 2020, http://www.mn2020.org/ one of our tenants at Midtown Commons has put together a time lapse video of LRT progress on University Avenue from the rooftop at 2324 University Avenue. This is pretty cool to watch.
So let's see...We are a thriving creative community, but it's been a while since we have celebrated that fact. To celebrate the completion of light rail in our neighborhood, I think we should put together some creative artwork to showcase our thriving area and welcome the many new developments that have arrived. A sculpture in the grassy area of the Carleton Lofts A mural about reading for the Minnesota Literacy Council An interactive artwork for the Avalon school students A collaborative outdoor place for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits staff to sit Planters, banners, yarn bombing? Who knows. Gets you thinking doesn't it? Send me your ideas.
Everyone who works in the Raymond/University area knows we have a good thing going..... cool renovated buildings, new business start-ups, nonprofit groups, and soon - an LRT station. Why is our neighborhood thriving even in this down economy? It is because we are a "Creative Enterprise Zone". Our success has been due to the many artists and creative businesses that have chosen to work in the Raymond/University area. We also have tireless supporters in the St. Anthony Park Community Council and the St. Anthony Park Community Foundation. So we know we have a good thing, how do we foster the creative businesses and arts groups in our area? And how do we spread the word about the great things happening here? Catherine Reid Day and I met at the Edge Coffe Shop and had a great conversation about the creative enterprise zone plan that has been developed. www.SAPCC.org/cezplan I look forward to helping the many collaborators with sharing our vision for the neighborhood and work
Improving Organizations that Impact the World The Impact Group assists organizations that do great things in areas of health, human services, education, the arts and criminal justice. They help organizations define the real worth of what they do and enable them to communicate that value to others. We are excited that they are moving into the neighborhood, where there are many possibilities for collaboration with many other groups here. http://www.theimprovegroup.com/ The Impact Group is moving their office from Mendota Heights. Welcome!!
Congratulations to Barbara Hunn-Miesen, our long-time Raymond Avenue neighbor. Barbara, co-owner of Keys Restaurant, is being awarded the Pioneer Award by WomenVenture. Keys is a neighborhood favorite place to eat, known for its wonderful breakfasts and great homemade dishes. As a family owned business, we are always pleased to see other family businesses succeed. Congratulations Barb! For more information see the article in this month's Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine. http://www.mspmag.com/
We convinced St. Anthony Park Community Council to move the traffic calming back one year to 2013 and saved about 10 parking spaces. I am still convinced that this plan is a waste of money. It is so important for local business to have good communication with their neighborhood councils. Most councils don't have a good handle on what businesses need. I will keep fighting for local business interests.
We're exciting to see another project in the University/Raymond neighborhood. The Chittenden & Eastman Building at 2402 University is being turned into 100 apartment units. Construction will begin around Labor Day with occupancy in fall 2012.
This brings an additional $ 19 million dollars of investment to the corner! University and Raymond is booming!
Some neighbors in St. Anthony Park are pushing for a City plan that will tear up Raymond Ave. from University to Hampden in 2012 and re-do the streets. I have been campaigning against this plan for the following reasons:
1. The scope of the traffic calming has gone from changing a unsafe interscetions to re-paving the whole street. Now it's a plan spending over $ 1.5 million dollars.
2. It removes parking along Raymond. Haven't we been over this parking thing enough? LRT took away parking from the Raymond-University area. The City has not come up with any plans to replace it. Now the calming plan will remove over 40 spaces on Raymond. Seriously?
3. Businesses were not involved in the planning and people were not told that they would be assessed for part of the cost. Update will be assessed over $ 17,500!!
4. The timing of the plan is horrible. Raymond businesses are suffering from LRT construction this whole year - can they make it through another year of cl
Raymond Station Takes Shape! It's exciting to see the station platform being built. This photo from 6-30-11 was taken in front of Midtown Commons. The curbs are in, and some blacktop. Can't wait for the construction to move to the north side of the street so we can open up the entrance to the Post Office. Thanks to all our tenants for being so patient during construction.
Nice Ride, the non-profit public bike share system began installing stations in St. Paul today. Four stations will include - University and Snelling University and Fairview Raymond and Ellis Westgate and Territorial Check out the program at www.niceridemn.org
We have a new tenant at 2314 University Avenue - Minnesota Online High School. Minnesota Online High School (MNOHS) is a state-approved, public online high school open to any Minnesota student in grades 9 through 12. This lease brings 2314 University to 100% full status, along with the Foundry on Raymond. University and Raymond - in the center of the Twin Cities. It's where people want to be!!
Another new development is coming to the neighborhood! Avalon Charter School will be the anchor tenant at 705 Raymond, across the street from the Foundry building. Construction has already started and the school plans to hold classes at the new site this fall. With the Port Authority project down the block on Pelham, our neighborhood continues to grow. The building used to house the Sewall Gear Company, which moved out in 2009.
Here comes the heavy construction - Didn't know we would have both LaSalle and Hampden blocked off south of University. Working with the Met Council to try to get at least one open at a time. Ordered our own signs to help direct traffic. Tomorrow buying coffee at The Edge and having lunch at Cafe Biaggio . Have to support our neighbors!!! Business is down, traffic is hard, snow didn't help.
Construction has started along University Avenue in our neighborhood. This is the time to make sure you continue to support the local restaurants and shops along the Avenue while they deal with the construction. Let's all support each other and get through this next 3-4 months!!
I need to look at something green!! Here's a few photos of the flowers around our buildings. Think Spring! It's not far away. My brother Jim does a great job in supervising the plantings around our buildings.
We are pleased to report that in 2010 we had a new absorption of 23,732 sq. ft. office and warehouse space. 2010 saw a net gain of 6 new tenants. This is great news in this challenging economy! We think it's a sign that the Midway area is a great location to do business.
Central Corridor LRT construction will begin March 2011. Update Company has been very proactive regarding theupcoming construction. We are attending numerous community meetings, adding our input on station area plans, reviewing artwork for the Raymond station and visioning sessions for preserving and strengthening the West Midway industrial area. We are active supporters of the University Avenue Business Association, who is fighting for all small businesses along University. Update Company's buildings are well prepared for construction and the loss of parking. But many businesses along the Avenue will lose almost all of their parking. We feel that the City of St. Paul and the Met Council have not adequately addressed the parking issue and the harm that parking loss will cause. City reports tell us to share parking, and they promise to invest in licence plate recognition technology to ticket those who park illegally. It's my guess that most of those ticketed will be employees a