By JANE MCCLURE
St. Paul City Council awards $2+ million in STAR funds
The 2017 Neighborhood Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) competitive grant and loan program includes projects to help immigrants and refugees, thanks to area nonprofits. The St. Paul City Council July 19 approved grant and loan funding for 19 projects. A total of $2,024,063 won approval—$1,462,063 in grants and $562,163 in loans. Project matches total $10,852,263.
The top-ranked project citywide is for the renovation of Capital Deals, a store on Smith Ave. on the city’s West Side.
The highest-ranked project in the Midway area is African Economic Development Solutions, which finished ninth. The development group, which is located at 1821 University Ave., will use a $100,000 grant and $123,000 match to provide a revolving loan fund for African entrepreneurs citywide. The nonprofit has worked with several African businessmen and women on N. Snelling Ave.
Ranked 11th is the International Institute of Minnesota’s Second Century Campaign, which was given a $200,000 grant. The match is more than $5.18 million. The International Institute plans to expand and renovate its facilities at 1694 Como Ave. to help new immigrants and refugees in its New American Workshop program.
Improvements to the commercial building at 704-738 University Ave. ranked 12th. A $47,500 grant and $47,599 loan were approved, with a match of $181,000.
Twelve projects weren’t funded, including a capital campaign request from Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest. Junior Achievement is renovating a building at 1745 University Ave. for it programs. The group sought $1 million for a $15.3 million project. The project is going ahead without the city funds.
Other area projects that weren’t funded include a request from the Joy to the People Foundation toward a multi-sports facility at 890 Cromwell Ave. and Lifetrack Resources’ request for facilities improvements and a new preschool at 709 University Ave.
Thirty-one projects were considered for the $2 million in this year’s funding round, as compared to 39 in 2016. The 31 submissions sought $5,038,315, with $4,356,902 in grants and $681,413 in loans. Matches proposed by applications totaled $33,907,471. All Neighborhood STAR projects require a minimum one-to-one match of money, material and professional services.
Target renovations complete
Months of getting lost while shopping have come to an end as Target Corporation has completed remodeling its Midway store at Hamline and University avenues. The store at 1300 University Ave. is one of three stores around the state Target is remodeling.
Work wrapped up in July. The store features changes in décor, brighter lighting, and more checkout lanes. Many departments were moved from their longtime locations. The grocery area was also expanded.
Ryan Companies led the remodeling work.
The St. Paul-Midway store was one of 110 Target stores across the country receiving a top-to-bottom overhaul in 2017, according to Target. The other two Minnesota stores undergoing remodeling are on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis and in St. Louis Park. Other Twin Cities Target stores will get smaller upgrades.