I've been reflecting on the Pioneer Press story from over the weekend, linked below. It's no secret that recent shifts in our society have posed challenges for commercial real estate. Change can be daunting, especially when it's accompanied by challenging news like TKDA leaving downtown. However, instead of shying away from it, we should take a moment to assess the bigger picture and recognize the opportunities that lie ahead.

In addition to the commercial-to-residential conversion candidates that are a part of the Madison Equities portfolio, the potential transformation of the Ramsey County East building into housing, with its breathtaking views, has been in discussion for years. Despite concerns in the capital markets due to rent stabilization, the downtown residential vacancy rate sits at less than 6%, offering more than just a glimmer of hope for residential growth in downtown Saint Paul. These are all aspects considered in our Downtown Investment Strategy.

But merely having a strategy isn't enough; we need the backing of the city, county and state to fund these initiatives. Without their support, we risk burdening single-family homeowners across the city and county with the property tax load. The groundwork has been laid, and now it's time for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work. I'm eager to see our progress unfold and celebrate our achievements along the way.

Have a great weekend,



Amidst office upheaval, vendors, business advocates, leaders weigh in on future of downtown Saint Paul

A Downtown Investment Strategy unveiled by the Downtown Alliance in March emphasizes the importance of three key strategies, including office-to-residential conversions and improving the pedestrian streetscape on a handful of key connecting corridors that cross downtown, such as Fifth Street, Kellogg Boulevard, Wabasha Street and Robert Street.

The 125-page strategy, prepared by a downtown steering committee with the help of New York-based consultants, also calls for “activating” the dead space around downtown Central Station, the future RiversEdge project along Kellogg Boulevard and the Xcel Energy Center with new public-facing development and amenities.

“Markets are cyclical,” Spencer said Friday. “Buildings are going to trade. We’re hopeful the Downtown Investment Strategy will help guide what will happen.”

Read more from the Pioneer Press

Pauly's Rooftop Lowertown, summer-only expansion of Selby Ave. bar, to open May 15 overlooking Saints ballpark

It's in the former Ox Cart Ale House space, a full-circle moment for Pauly's co-owner - and Ox Cart founder - Joe Kasel.

Selby Avenue newcomer Pauly’s Pub and Grill is expanding to a Lowertown rooftop — just for the summer.

The team behind the restaurant and sports bar, which just opened last fall, is planning to open Pauly’s Rooftop Lowertown in the space that was formerly Ox Cart Ale House, near CHS Field. Opening day is set for Wednesday, May 15.

And because the rooftop overlooks the Saints’ ballpark, owners Flaherty and Joe Kasel are partnering with the team for promotions and plan to host a variety of kids’ and family activities, Flaherty said.

Read more from the Pioneer Press

Maddie Rooney doesn't flinch as PWHL Minnesota outlasts Toronto in two OTs in Game 4

Maddie Rooney made 19 saves to win a goaltending duel and help send Minnesota to a 1-0 double-overtime victory over Toronto that forces a fifth and deciding game in the playoff series.

Read more from the Star Tribune

175 years of Saint Paul parks celebrated with gathering, book, fundraisers

Saint Paul's park system celebrates its 175th anniversary on Thursday, May 16 with a birthday party in Rice Park.

From noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 16, the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation and other parks boosters will gather in Rice Park to share birthday cake and celebrate the 175th anniversary of Saint Paul’s parks.

The celebration also marks “Parks Giving Day,” a parks fundraiser, where fans can text “516Parks” to 41444 or visit the online campaign at tinyurl.com/StpParksGiving2024. Como Friends will give out bur oak saplings, 12 to 18 inches in height, for party attendees to plant at home or at their business to help support the urban tree canopy.

The celebration is free and open to the public, and one of several birthday-themed events organized around the 175th anniversary. The conservancy this year plans to publish a book in partnership with the Ramsey County Historical Society focused on the history of 18 city parks, complete with coloring pages.

Read more from the Pioneer Press

Here's a glance at what's happening downtown this week.

A full look at what's coming up can be found on our event calendar. Check it out!

May 16-19

Blended 和 (Harmony): The Kim Loo Sisters

History Theatre

May 16-19

Saints vs Omaha

CHS Field

May 16, 18-19

La Bohème


May 16

ParksGiving - Fundraising for Pedro Park

Camp Bar

May 17

SPCO Julie Albers Plays Haydn’s Cello Concerto in D


May 17

After Dark: St. Paul's Hilarious Comedy Improv Show!

Camp Bar

May 18

Free yoga at Union Depot

Union Depot

May 18

Saturday Vibe: Mini Maker

George Latimer Central Library

May 18

Gangsterland Walking Tour

Rice Park

May 19

The Decemberists

Palace Theatre

May 21

Social Distortion

Palace Theatre

May 22

Craft Circle

George Latimer Central Library

May 23-25

SPCO Richard Goode Plays Mozart’s Piano Concertos Nos. 18 and 23


May 25

Tacos and Margaritas

CHS Field

TONIGHT : Parksgiving Fundraiser for Pedro Park

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Construction season is underway and each week we'll provide updates on projects and road closures happening around downtown to ensure a smooth trip whether you’re coming for dinner, the farmer’s market, a show or work.

To view a larger version, click on the table. Click the map to visit the City of Saint Paul road closure map.

Follow these links for additional details on Kellogg Blvd.Minnesota St. and the Robert St. reconstruction and utility work.

2023 Annual Report now available

As the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance celebrated its fifth anniversary in 2023, we are reflecting proudly on the remarkable resilience and growth our downtown has achieved in the face of collective challenges and change.

We're excited to present this year's annual report, including a timeline highlighting key milestones and achievements that shaped our journey. 

Download the full report here.

Are you following the Alliance on Facebook? What about Instagram?

Make sure you're following the Downtown Alliance on social media to stay up to date on all the latest downtown events and news. Plus, we do love giveaways, so you never know when you could end up with tickets, swag or other great downtown prizes. 



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