Watch the recording of this event on YouTube!
The April 27th Learn with the League program included a panel of community members working on University Avenue, and beyond. The program, titled Rebuilding University Avenue, included presentations by Chad Kulas, Executive Director at the Midway Chamber of Commerce, Nicolle Goodman, Director of Planning and Economic Development at the City of St Paul, and local business owner Gloria Wong. Ms. Wong’s business, Century Plaza, has been repeated targeted since the riots last May.
Attendees learned about the University area including some of its past. As much as the community has been changing, some things have remained the same, including our own local public rail; an original mainstay over 100 years ago. Damage that was done along University Avenue in St Paul was extensive and is estimated at over $100M. Rebuilding efforts have begun. Monies have been disbursed. Several businesses have moved outside of the area. To date We Love Midway and We Love St Paul have received over $950K in donations. The Chamber has given out 80 grants to businesses each totaling between $5K and $50K.
The City has been working on several fronts to ensure businesses have access to resources. The City is working on two fronts for the community including ensuring that the face of the community is not severely impacted by the redevelopment and also using the HRA to fund community ownership.
Businesses have been impacted in different ways. Some have been completely destroyed while others have only been lightly touched. Century Plaza was originally targeted in May of 2020. Rioters broke windows and looted the inside, spraying graffiti, taking materials and inventory, and destroying the property. Insurance has oftentimes not been available to business owners as the policies typically do not cover this type of damage.
Next steps for the attendees include the following:
- Donations can be made to We Love Midway
- Anyone wanting to volunteer can contact Hands On Twin Cities
- Attendees wanting to do a bit more can contact Chad at email@example.com
- The biggest impact would be to visit the restaurants and businesses along University and those that relocated to other parts of St Paul (Bole to Pascal, Lloyd's is two door down, Peking is in Mai Village)
- Visit Century Plaza at 995 University
- Visit our community businesses.