Here’s a map that comes from the real estate marketing packet for Saint Paul’s famous Ford Site, the 100+ acre former truck factory in Highland. It shows the “retail” near the site, using logos and arrows.
For one thing, this map shows how many Paneras and Targets are nearby. But on top of that, the flier is a good reminder of how many lenders and high-level real estate professionals view the world: through chain-colored glasses, if you will. There are tons of small businesses in Saint Paul and South Minneapolis, but it’s almost as if they don’t exist in this version of the Twin Cities.
(I also think they’re missing some, like East Lake street’s former White Castle or stuff down in Mendota Heights?)
They even got the mapping of the chains wrong and skipped over some obvious ones. The Target in Midway is arrowed where the Aldi, DQ, etc. should be, and vice versa. They also didn’t remove the stores that were torn down for the stadium (Walgreens is the big one there, though I thought either Family Dollar or Officemax closed there as well.) They also didn’t include the DQ that’s just down the street in Highland (across from the library, if I remember correctly.)
So not only did they not include any small businesses, they didn’t even get the chains right.
The got the East Lake Target but missed the Cub that it shares a parking lot with, the Arby’s across Lake St, the Wendy’s across Minnehaha, and the Aldi a block west on East Lake.
The next time I’m in Saint Cloud, if i have nothing better to do, I’ll motor westward along Division Street from the Public Library a couple of miles to Division Street and see a continuous chain of chain retail stores. A panorama of plastic that clads building facades awaits me.
Meanwhile, downtown Saint Cloud is a shadow off its former self – a collection of offices and scattered independent shops.
Bleh. Move to St Paul and pretend it’s Woodbury. No thanks.
This is basically a mental mapping exercise. I’m sure anyone who lives in the western end of St. Paul would call out very different businesses.