News from the Downtown Alliance
March 12, 2021
A note from the president


This time last year I was holding out hope that my family would be able to take our spring break trip to Disneyland, and if you can believe it - board a cruise ship to Mexico for the weekend. While much of that sentence practically feels like a foreign language at this point, many of us have likely spent the last few days thinking about how our lives have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic officially began one year ago this week. And yet, just this morning Governor Walz announced new guidelines for increased restaurant and retail capacities, social gatherings and entertainment venues. Coupled with President Biden's commitment to vaccine availability for all adults by May 1, I am more confident and more excited than I have been in a long time that we will not only bounce back better than ever, but also sooner than anticipated. We will, of course, continue to share news and updates as we hear them.

Thank you to everyone who was able to join us for last Friday's Speaker Series event: The Future of Office. It was great to see so many familiar faces listening in and asking thoughtful questions. If you were not able to make it, a recording can be found here. Especially given the news this week that Target corporate will reduce their office footprint in Minneapolis, I would encourage everyone to check it out and share it with those who may find it interesting. As employers adapt toward more flexible work environments, less physical space may be necessary, but the need and desire for a place for colleagues to gather and innovate will be evergreen.

Finally, last fall the Downtown Alliance and the CapitolRiver Council began working with University of Minnesota grad students through the Resilient Communities Project to evaluate signage zoning and wayfinding navigation throughout downtown. The entire experience has been enlightening and we plan to share the findings as they wrap up in the coming months. The students are currently working to hear from as many downtown residents and employees as possible to learn more about the pedestrian experience. Keep reading for instructions on how you can share your insights and be entered to win a $50 downtown gift card at the same time.

Take care, 

Joe Spencer
Saint Paul Downtown Alliance
Tell us about your pedestrian experience in downtown Saint Paul
Over the past six months, the Downtown Alliance has been working with the CapitolRiver Council and graduate students at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs to evaluate signage and wayfinding throughout downtown, in order to improve the overall navigation system downtown.

We're asking for your help to complete a brief, five-minute survey about your experiences navigating the streets and skyways.

After completing the survey you'll have the option to leave your contact information to be entered into a drawing to win one of four $50 gift cards to the downtown business of your choice.

Downtown in the news
We love to see downtown businesses make the news. Here's what we've been reading this week:

The Penfield is state’s first apartment building to win Fitwel award - The Penfield joins Securian on the list of downtown Fitwel buildings.

Saint Paul restaurants were hurting. Here’s how people like you helped. - Hear directly from several downtown restaurant owners about community generosity and support during the last year.

Live venues optimistic about reopening by late summer or early fall - Vaccine availability is adjusting timelines across every sector - entertainment venues are cautiously optimistic shows will return sooner than later.

What's It Like To Open A Gym During The Pandemic? - WCCO checked in with Kris Nelson, the owner of D1 Sports Training, about the new facility in downtown.
Upcoming at Celeste St. Paul
Looking for a break from what has become the new normal? 2020 Twin Cities Best Hotel winner Celeste St. Paul is partnering with Green Mangos Catering to offer an adaptable wine tasting event. Participants each receive three bottles of wine to compare and can attend virtually from the comfort of their own home, or make a weekend staycation of it and book a discounted room for the night at Celeste. Hotel guests will have the opportunity for a socially distanced reception with instructor Thao Moore in the Celeste bar afterward.

Saturday, March 20 - 4:30 p.m.

Downtown restaurant and retail options
Stumped for where to order dinner from these days? Or who has a patio to visit?

Have questions?

Banner photo cred : Visit Saint Paul