News from the Downtown Alliance
October 25, 2019
A note from the president

I'm sure many of you saw the annual commercial real estate report from BOMA this week. We are incredibly grateful to Joe Spartz and his team for collecting and distributing this kind of data every year about our downtown. I would like to add some additional reflections and context to that data.

First, our growing residential population is great for downtown Saint Paul in the long run. A vibrant residential population will help attract the kind of amenities and 24/7 activity that makes downtown a more inviting place for employers.

Second, while the vacancy rate for competitive office space continues to be high, it doesn’t acknowledge the large inventory of owner occupied and government space (not unusual for capital cities) present in downtown Saint Paul. The total commercial office space (including those two categories), has a vacancy rate in downtown Saint Paul of just 10%.

When we exclusively consider our competitive vacancy rate, we have just a few buildings that for their own reasons negatively impact the rest of the market. If you remove Landmark Tower from our Class A vacancy rate, it drops to just 14%; if you drop 180 East 5 th and Cray Plaza from the calculation, the vacancy for Class B drops to 16%.

This is not to say that we don't have important work to do in an effort to drive more jobs and vitality downtown. But the context and details of the overall market conditions downtown are actually much better than they may appear at a glance. 

Next week we'll be headed to the International Downtown Association conference in Baltimore to learn from industry experts, and we're excited to come back full of inspiration! We'll share more next week.

See you all around (down)town,

Joe Spencer
The Saint Paul Downtown Alliance
Destination Winter St. Paul is coming
For the first time in nearly 15 years, the Wells Fargo WinterSkate will be moving out of its spot in Landmark Plaza – but it's not going far. As part of a whole new kind of winter wonderland, WinterSkate will move just 10 minutes east to CHS Field. The skating rink will be joined by the exciting return of the popular Securian SuperSlide which debuted during the Super Bowl. Destination Winter Saint Paul will kick off December 6 and will culminate February 22, 40 years to the day after the Miracle on Ice which will be commemorated and celebrated with a parade through downtown.

Saint Paul takes number three spot for emerging startups
Sometimes it's nice to get a little outside recognition for the things that we've known all along. A new report from Fundera found that Saint Paul's ideal mix of affordability, a high concentration of educated workers and venture capital investment makes it one of the top three cities nationwide for startups. Of course thanks to projects like Osborn370, Lunar Startups, Twin Cities Startup Week, and more we've been in on the secret.

Downtown Saint Paul in the news 
What's happening next week around Downtown Saint Paul
Moscow on the Hill 25th Anniversary Celebration | October 27-29 - Moscow on the Hill

Judah & the Lion | October 31 - Palace Theatre

Night at The M | November 2 - The M
Do you have a story or downtown news you'd like to share?