Universities, Public Radio, Community Organizations, and Business Owners, I guess.
That's a vast oversimplification, but all of the above have valid issues with the incoming Central Corridor Light Rail line currently going in between downtown Saint Paul and downtown Minneapolis. It cuts through a neighborhood that was torn apart by a highway decades ago. It cuts through a major research university that was worried about vibrations and sensitive equipment. It goes past a public radio station that was concerned about its recording studios. It goes down a major avenue, past many small business who will have to suffer through two years of intensive construction and one year of testing before the train is in service.
The process was not always the best, and the above issues have been addressed at least to the point that construction is happening. From my perspective as a citizen who both lives and works on the corridor, I am looking forward to the train. So is my three-year-old son. And my husband, who also lives and works on the corridor. I get that this is not going to be easy; the construction will limit access to businesses on both sides of University Avenue. Once the train is in, on-street parking will be limited.
There is a planning committee looking into how to better utilize existing off-street parking and how to better design the avenue to be user-friendly. There are resources for businesses and citizens. In the end, I hope the train will make things better.
In the meantime, especially during 2011 and 2012, the time of heavy construction, we can stop into these businesses when we need sustenance, energy, and relaxation. Or if we need something repaired or created. This is focused on St. Paul. Add businesses and thoughts in the comments, and I will update the list.
Midway Liquor: a family-owned, family-run, friendly establishment. Lollipops for the kids!
1944 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN
Edge Coffee House: coffee and soup, too! I believe they also have an Irish Trad Music Session there once in awhile. I'll have to ask daddywhumpus.
2399 University Ave, Saint Paul, MN
Twin City Tees: where the Hounds of Finn get their tee shirts.
1952 University Ave, Saint Paul, MN
Lucy Coffee Cafe: new!
North side of Fairview and University, in the Griggs-Midway Building.
540 Fairview Ave N
Fortune Wok: Chinese restaurant. I have not stopped in here yet.
S125 Fairview Avenue North
Second Debut 2: Redundant name aside, this is a cute boutique with designer second hand clothes and accessories for women, a branch of goodwill. The goodwill shop is just up Fairview.
1825 University Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Caffe Biaggio: yummy Italian fare
2356 University Ave W
Saint Paul, MN
Cupcake: coffee, cupcakes, soup, salads, etc., etc., etc.
3338 University Ave. SE.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Park Midway Bank: my bank
2171 University Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55114
Phone: (651) 523-7800
The Dubliner: my neighborhood bar, often complete with live Irish music, including the Hounds of Finn.
2162 University Ave
Saint Paul, MN
On's Kitchen Thai Cuisine: delicious Thai food*
1613 University Ave W
St. Paul, MN 55104
Turf Club: Local Music! Beer!
1601 University Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104
Purr-niture: Furniture. For your cat. Winter is coming, and they get bored when the windows close.
2242 University Avenue West
The Town House Bar: The Twin Cities' oldest GLBT Bar.
1415 University Ave. W.
Regina Vacuum Services: they can fix just about any vacuum*
1681 University Ave
World Cycling Productions: for high-end cycling gear*
Salsa Lisa: locally-made salsa. Just eat it. It's excellent.
YMCA Midway: They have a great weight room with excellent machines and tons of free weights, and they're always trying to keep it up-to-date. Staff is super friendly. They have daycare and a pool too! Their basketball court/gym has an old wood floor - super old skool construction, but it's a great court to play on. Lots of good classes to take as well.
1761 University Ave W
Classic Retro at Pete's: antique/vintage store looks a bit like a cheap garage sale from the outside but you have to go inside. The shop owner knows his stuff, and he has some really cool items. Maybe a bit pricey, but if you have the money he does have good vintage furniture and housewares.
2145 W University Ave
Hampden Park Co-Op: Off the Avenue, but definitely on the Corridor. A small co-op that is not part of the Co-op co-op, if you like that sort of thing.
928 Raymond Ave
Eden Pizza: a little neighborhood store-front pizza shop within walking distance of our house. They also deliver, lucky us. As we are 1/2 block from the outer limits of Green Mill's deliver, just outside of Leaning Tower, and also outside of the Selby Pizza Luce zone, this is good news. Plus, it's really good pizza.
629 Aldine, St. Paul, MN 55104
Call (651) 646-7616 for pickup or delivery
Caribe: Yum. Caribbean bistro just off the Avenue.
791 Raymond Ave.
Lunch on the Avenue: an ongoing lunch series set up by the Midway Chamber of Commerce.
They are on Facebook as well.
There is a discount program for customers of Central Corridor businesses, as part of the Discover Central Corridor program. You can pick up a coupon book at Cub Foods - Midway, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Western Bank, Midway Chamber and Stadium Village Dairy Queen.
You can download a Perks Card app for iPad or iPhone as well.
Metro Transit: If you are affected by the line, you simply cannot complain about being uninformed of the activities. All you have to do is look. I get email updates regularly from the team, and they are specific and helpful.
Small Business Forgivable Loan: $4 Million in Forgivable Loans Available to Small Businesses Along Central Corridor Light Rail Line
Business Resources: This link includes information about loans, access, zones, and more.
Ready for Rail: a Central Corridor information hub provided by the Business Resources Collaborative.
LRT Works: Trades people seeking work
A few more links relevant to the subject:
University Avenue Business Association
St. Paul Central Corridor Updates
Nice Ride comes to Saint Paul!
New Businesses on the Central Corridor
*Thanks to my neighbors for these suggestions.