News from the Downtown Alliance
February 19, 2021
A note from the president

For the last year, people have been speculating if COVID-19 will be the end of downtowns and our office buildings. While our employers are not yet bringing their teams together in our downtown office buildings, I know that they are eager to gather in person when its safe. Will there be more flexibility? Sure, but after hundreds of blursdays in a row, are folks excited to see each other again? ABSOLUTELY. We are here to help, and have convened an employer recovery committee and a venue recovery committee to develop strategies to assist as workers and visitors return downtown. 

Don’t just take my word for it – I strongly encourage you to “attend” our March 5 Speaker Series to hear from some global experts about the future of office. I saw Christopher and David (more below) speak recently and was impressed with their research and data-driven insights. I think you will be too. 

Now that its warming up (relatively speaking), lets get back to talking about baseball. The new era of the St. Paul Saints is right around the corner!

Stay warm and take care, 

Joe Spencer
Saint Paul Downtown Alliance
Value per acre and downtown's economic productivity
If you missed our recent Speaker Series event with Joe Minicozzi, or even if you're just curious for more analysis, it's not too late to learn more. Joe recently spoke with Bill Lindeke to discuss the data and further contextualize downtown's economic productivity.

Measuring the five-minute city
Clocking in at nearly exactly one mile from the Xcel Energy Center to CHS Field, and just half a mile north to south, it's no secret that our downtown is extremely walkable. The concept of the five-minute or 15-minute city is not new, but this recent piece, which states :

The “15-minute city” may be defined as an ideal geography where most human needs and many desires are located within a travel distance of 15 minutes.

got us thinking about how downtown Saint Paul stacks up.

Click the map to enlarge to check out your regular walking paths.
Upcoming Downtown Alliance Speaker Series

March 5, 2021
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

The pandemic-induced work-from-home experiment has altered perspectives on work, flexibility and the office.

When COVID-19 is no longer a lingering health concern, workers may not be expected to come into the office for tasks that can be done from anywhere. What purpose does the office serve in the future and how will that purpose impact the way occupiers think about their portfolio footprints, location strategy and office layouts?

Join us with speakers Christopher Leinberger (Co-Founding Partner & Managing Director, Places Platform, LLC) and David Smith (Vice President, Global Head of Occupier Insights, Cushman & Wakefield) to explore potential outcomes of the future of the office and what it means for urban districts regarding office occupancy and the street life urban place management organizations oversee.

Small Business Spotlight
written by Emma Burns
Oftentimes when we think of small businesses we picture family-owned restaurants and store front retail shops, but of course that doesn't begin to cover it. Our downtown is home to an enormous variety of small businesses touching every sector of the economy. A staple in Lowertown since 2005, 4RM + ULA is one such business. 4RM + ULA is a full-service architectural design firm that specializes in connecting communities through transit and aviation design, transit-oriented development, as well as community-focused, urban infill redevelopment projects.

Led by partners James Garrett Jr, Nathan Johnson and Erick Goodlow, their team of seven is known for designs throughout the Twin Cities, including designing all eighteen Green Line light rail stations. In 2020 Garrett and Johnson received the Gold Medal Award from the AIA of Minnesota in recognition of the lasting influence of their work in Minnesota.

Founder James Garrett also happens to be a downtown diehard through and through. You may recognize him from his recent contributions to the 99% Invisible podcast episode on skyways or from his regular walks throughout the system envisioning what their future might hold.

This year we'll be regularly featuring the small businesses that make our downtown second to none.
Have a business you own or love and want to see it featured?
Downtown restaurant and retail options
Stumped for where to order dinner from these days? Or who might have that perfect gift?

Have questions?

Banner photo cred : Visit Saint Paul