Building a stronger Midway

The rising Midway

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Our friends on Saint Paul’s East Side like to remind us the sun rises in the East, as a way to playfully tell us their neighborhood is blessed and full of opportunities. And it is fitting, as a new day has risen along commercial corridors like Payne Ave. which has many great restaurants that have opened in the past few years. Our neighbors at Can Can Wonderland also now own Saint Paul Brewing, formerly Flat Earth Brewing and in the old Hamm’s site, one of the newest hot spots in town.
But the Midway is also rising up, from the ashes of burned down buildings. In my article last month, I talked about some of the progress made along University Ave. But over the past week, there have been more signs of better days and our community reopening.
On May 28, Lloyd’s Pharmacy was one of the businesses which unfortunately saw its building burn completely to the ground. The pharmacy is a longtime institution of the Midway, and no doubt offers an essential service. Since July, Lloyd’s has operated in a smaller building a few doors down from its previous location, and on Nov. 9 ground was broke for their future building. The new location will be in the same site it once was and will be complete next summer.
If you have been along Snelling in between I-94 and University, you have probably noticed two new big developments on the west side of the street. Two new apartments will open next year, The Pivot and The Pitch, with commercial space on the first floor. To the west of the Spruce Tree Centre, a Bank of America is opening soon.
The plywood also continues to get taken down along University Ave. Century Plaza’s windows were damaged and are in the process of getting replaced. The work should be complete in early December and businesses inside have all reopened. The building, just west of Chatsworth, houses 18 businesses ranging from an adult daycare, an insurance agency and a grocery store.
In October, the city of Saint Paul’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority approved the establishment of a tax increment financing district for the Snelling Midway Renewal area, a parcel of land next to Allianz Field, near the southeast corner of Snelling and University (read details in article on page 17). While there is a plan for United Village, a mixed-use development with housing and commercial space, plans have not been finalized and construction has not begun.
Plans continue to progress to reopen more of our community, and 2021 should see many new buildings and renovated old ones. University Avenue looks different today than it did in late May, with the promise of spring bringing more than just flowers blooming.

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