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Gearing up around downtown



I'm giving Joe the week off while he spends Spring Break in NYC with family. No doubt he'll be back next week bursting with with ideas after a week in another downtown.

First off, I want to extend a huge welcome back to so many workers who returned to downtown this week. We expect to see more and more folks returning in the coming weeks and as always, are here and ready to help with any questions or concerns about downtown. I also want to thank the SPPD beat officers who have been, and will continue to be, out in the mornings recently to offer their assistance.

As we alluded to last week, registration is now open for our Annual Meeting happening on April 28. Covid got in the way of hosting our past two events so we're even more excited to see you all this year. All are welcome to join, so feel free to share the invite. More details can be found below.

In addition to the start of road construction season we've shared some important updates below, don't get distracted by this next part and forget to read them it's also the start of baseball season! The Saints play their first home game of the year next Tuesday to kick off a six-game streak at CHS Field. As is to be expected, opening week promotions are on point from the jersey giveaway on Tuesday to an egg hunt and Easter brunch specials on Sunday.

Keep reading for all sorts of good stuff this week including a great op-ed from man-about-Lowertown Bill Hanley, the scoop on which restaurants have advanced to the Fish Fry Final Four, and more news and events from around downtown.

Take care and enjoy the rest of the week!

Emma Burns

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Registration now open!

The Downtown Alliance Annual Meeting is happening Thursday, April 28, from 4-6 p.m. at Osborn370. We're excited to gather together after so long apart, celebrate the wins of the last year and share more of what's to come this year.

This year we're welcoming special guest speaker David Downey, president of the International Downtown Association. David will reflect on the state of downtowns around the country and share insights from Saint Paul's participation in the IDA Value of Downtown Study.

Register here!

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Road construction season

It might still feel like February, but road construction season is here and this year there will be a few important projects to be aware of in and around downtown. We will continue to share updates throughout the year.

Wabasha - Utilities & Street Reconstruction

Prior to the City's planned reconstruction work that will begin in June, Xcel Energy will be working on several projects on Wabasha between April 8 and June. Expect lane and sidewalk closures.

Metro Transit has permanently relocated all bus stops off Wabasha as of March 31.

City reconstruction work on Wabasha will begin in June. This work will require full road closure during it's three phases.

Wabasha Street project details, including a link to sign up to receive updates, can be found here.

I-94 and I-35E - Stage Two and Three

The work to resurface 94 and 35E that began last summer is scheduled to begin again soon. As with last year, construction will reduce capacity to two lanes in each direction and require long-term closures of ramps into and out of downtown Saint Paul. SPDA will continue to work with MnDOT to provide clear information regarding ramp closures as we prepare for another summer of events and activities in downtown.

Stage Two – Spring through mid-summer 2022. Marion St. to I-35E and I-35E between I-94 and University Ave.

Stage Three – Mid-summer through fall 2022. I-35E to Mounds Blvd.

I-94 and I-35 project details, including a link to sign up to receive updates, can be found here.

Saint Paul leaders should enable residents to help revitalize downtown

Longtime downtown resident, and longer time downtown advocate, Bill Hanley recently shared his thoughts on one of downtown's most valuable resources - it's residential population. Downtown's population has doubled over the past decade and we want to see it triple again in the next 20 years. Our thanks to Bill for sharing and for his ongoing support of downtown.

Read more 
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This week's news roundup

Wild president and Bremer Bank CEO elected as board chair, vice-chair of Saint Paul Downtown Alliance - Pioneer Press

The new director of Saint Paul's Office of Neighborhood Safety says she is up for the task - Star Tribune

Just for fun...

Pearls of Wisdom: Saints Go Classic During 30th Season

Beaver bulletin: Wandering Lowertown rodent has been safely returned to Mississippi River - Pioneer Press

Fish Fry Face Off Final Four!

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We've reached the Fish Fry Final Four!

We started with eight worthy downtown teams. They fried their faces off and gave us all greasy fingers, but there can be only one winner. We are down to the final four teams and you get to decide who advances to the ultimate bracket final.

Pillbox Tavern vs. Saint Dinette

Can the classic beer battered Pillbox crush the creative Hot Coddy of Dinette?

Dark Horse vs. Patrick McGovern’s

Will it be sassy slaw at Dark Horse or the traditional and solid plate at McGoverns?

The winners of this week's match up will go head to head in the championship next week! Make sure you're following @StPLdowntown and @mspmag for news and updates.

You can find more details like how and when to CAST your vote, what each restaurant will be serving and when (heads up- in true fish fry fashion, many of these are only available on Friday!), and more at mspmag.com/fishfry.

Cast your vote here!

Upcoming events

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Baseball is back! The St. Paul Saints are kicking off their season with their first home game next week. The weather may leave something to be desired, but you know it will still be a great time.

Here's a look at what else is coming up.

April 7 - Riffs, Rails and Cocktails | Union Depot

April 8 - The Flaming Lips | Palace Theatre

April 8 - Whose Live Anyway | Fitzgerald

April 9 - Walking Gangster Tour | Rice Park

April 10 - Sundays at Landmark | Landmark Center

April 12-17 - Saints vs Indianapolis | CHS Field

April 12 - Fish Fry Face Off Finals

See the full calendar of events.



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