Into The Wasteland

The good news? Downtown Saint Paul is finally Egetting an honest-to-pete grocery store:

Lunds is coming to downtown St. Paul. While grocery stores come and go in other parts of the city, downtown hasn’t had one in decades.

(Well, the “convenience store” at 7th and Wabasha is big enough to scrape the low end of “grocery store” – but I know, they’re talking about a real grocery store. I digress.)

The good news?

That’s why the Lunds announcement is such great news for the city and its 14,000 downtown residents and 65,000 workers. In addition to providing long-needed access to a supermarket, the store will help boost the tax base, attract new residents and contribute to community building.

Early this month, Lunds Food Holdings said it will build a 30,000-square-foot store as part of an $88 million mixed-use project called the Penfield.

The bad news?

The development, on 10th and Robert streets, will include a hotel and upscale apartments. Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall.

Waaaaaay over on the wrong side of downtown.

Ah, well. It’s where the condos are, I guess. And it’s good news for downtown, in any case.

11 thoughts on “Into The Wasteland

  1. This just seems nuts. There are empty downtown condos galore in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. St. Paul has never had a 24 hour downtown since I’ve lived here and frankly, I’d be proud of it. Why don’t they just call it Galtier II. I hear that worked pretty well.

  2. I lived Downtown for 9 years and I would have KILLED for a real grocery store down there.
    That said, I really liked living in Lowertown and 3 years later I still miss it sometimes.

  3. “Waaaaaay over on the wrong side of downtown.”

    Huh? What does that mean? Where is the “Right” side of downtown to put more empty condo’s?

  4. Ya gotta love small towners. “Waaaay over on the wrong side.” So how far is that really?

    The total width of Downtown St. Paul (from the freeway to the River) is 10 blocks. The total length (from Wall to West Seventh) is 10 blocks. And they’re St. Paul-sized blocks, not huge Manhatten blocks.

    In small town Minnesota (or anywhere in North Dakota), two blocks is the limit. We park in front of the Hardware store and would walk a block to the drug store, but for the two-block jaunt to the Cafe, we’ll move the car. And there damned well better be front-door parking, none of this finding a ramp and hiking back nonsense.

    Walk to a grocery store ten whole blocks away? Whoa, not going to happen. AC must be laughing his clown pants off.


  5. Nate,

    A fair point, although I was thinking more from my current perspective; if I’m waiting for the bus and need to pick something up for dinner, is it a quick jaunt over to the store that I can do and still catch my bus?

    Bear in mind that I spent much of the last year walking the eight blocks to Rainbow and WalMart; I don’t really fit your description of small-town upper-midwesterners that way. The planned Lunds very well might be a great location for where the actual shoppers in d/t are, and I wish it the best.

    I also figured that Lowertown (or maybe up among all the condos along Washington and Shepard) would be a much better place for the planned Trader Joe’s than the Randolph/Lexington area that they’ve been nattering about.

  6. Just wait until they get The Train downtown. Then it’ll be a thriving cosmopolitan metropolis that never sleeps. Unlike now. This weekend, there were plenty of times when I could have fired a pistol down any street in Downtown without any risk of hitting a shopper.

    Of course, the people at the shooting range might say that describes my skill level most of the time – no danger of hitting anything – but you get my meaning.

  7. OTS.

    Mitch, a little bird suggested recently that our favorite “non-partisan” “citizen forum” gets Soroscheque (TM) donations.

    You want to Clift if they receive any cash from any of the SorosIndustries? Could be fun!

  8. Swiftee,

    Did the little bird say which branch of the Soros Empire was involved?

    Will contact offline…

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