Tag Archives: economic development

Wyoming is Asking the Right Questions About Job Creation

It’s no longer news that business incentive programs are controversial. A landmark New York Times investigation back in 2012 found that state and local governments gave up more than $80 billion each year to companies. Further back but closer to home, a 2008 report from Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor concluded that the now-defunct […]

Let’s Make Arcade Street a Walkable Neighborhood Center

Most older cities, including Saint Paul, have a downtown center that is distinguished by greater density and mixture of uses. On a smaller scale, many neighborhoods have a center where there is a greater concentration of commercial activity. In Payne-Phalen that neighborhood center is Arlington Hills, and the commercial concentration is along Payne Avenue and […]

Your Quick and Cheap All-Purpose Solution for Saint Paul’s East Side

It’s been depressing to read the recent stories about the capital improvement budget (CIB) in Saint Paul. A group of East Side neighborhoods commissioned a study to point out the inequity and imbalance in infrastructure spending in the city. Fair enough, even though some of the results are a bit arbitrary  or unclear — for example, the […]

Eating Spam Downtown: A Story of Big Box Reuse

What to do with the empty boxes at the edge of town? The small town of Austin, Minnesota, was faced with this question. They had an answer. The largest employer in town, Hormel Foods, swept-in and transformed an empty K-Mart into something special. The Spam Museum is one-of-a-kind; there are no others. And, for this […]

The Bike Loop Makes Economic Sense for Downtown Saint Paul

[This post first appeared on the Saint Paul Smart-Trips blog.] “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett Over the last several years, the city of Saint Paul has made great strides to improve the bicycle infrastructure within our city.  One of the most […]

Minneapolis Is Hitting the Trifecta

If you’re a millennial and you’re looking for a job in a new city, you might have read (or want to read) the November 19th article in The Atlantic about “why it’s so hard for millenials to find a place to live and work”. The problem, it seems, is that the cities with the most […]

A Look Inside Saint Paul’s 8-80 Vitality Fund

Ever since Mayor Chris Coleman introduced his 2015 budget in August, I’ve been anxious to learn more about the details of the Mayor’s proposal for a new $42.5 million “8-80 Vitality Fund”. Last week a list of projects were posted online in preparation for the City Council’s October 8th budget review session. I shared the list […]

Why did the New Markets Tax Credit Disappear?

At the end of July the CDFI Fund made data available about the last ten years of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program. Tax credits are a bit complicated. For a full explanation as to how the NMTC program works, the CDFI Fund has you covered. The basics are that Community Development Entities (CDEs) […]