Business

Transit-oriented development: Quality over quantity

A colleague of mine (from a more urban city) recently visited. When he arrived, I offered to show him around and he wanted to see transit-oriented development (TOD). Hmm…. I wanted to impress him, but I was stumped. Despite all our attention as a city and region to TODs, I don’t believe we have any great transit villages right off the platform where we could go that would really resonate with him. There’s Nicollet Mall and Target Field Station, but I wanted him to say, “wow, this is great!,” but I didn’t feel those would produce that response. Maybe I have impossibly high standards (maybe I’m just getting old and codgery), or maybe the Twin Cities is lagging a bit in the TOD quality department. So I took him for a drive along the West River Parkway and to West River Commons, which impressed him. This begs the question what is TOD and how can we do it better?

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MN Jobs Coalition received $355,000 from the RSLC; where'd that money trickle down from?

In a report about Minnesota Jobs Coalition chair Ben Golnik's new job as executive director of the Minnesota House Republican caucus, Minnesota Public Radio's Catherine Richert reported in Monday's article, Golnik to direct House Republican Caucus:

Golnik is leaving his post as chairman of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, an independent political group that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars ushering in the Republican majority to the Minnesota House. Republicans won in nearly every district the group invested in. . . .

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What you need to know about the India-US agreement at the WTO

Just ahead of the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane, Australia (November 15-16, 2014), India and the United States announced a breakthrough in their trade negotiations impasse over agriculture. That fight had brought trade negotiations to a crashing standstill in July after the few months of tentative optimism among negotiators that followed the eleventh-hour agreement in at the Bali Ministerial Conference in December 2013. Confidence in the multilateral rules-based trading system had reached an all-time low, and while the response was muted (an agreement between two WTO members is not the same as an agreement among all), the media coverage made it clear the news of the U.S.-India agreement was very welcome in trade circles.

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Hampden Park Co-op sounds call to action

(Photo from Hampden Park Co-op website)

Last summer, Hampden Park Co-op put out a call to action to its members to increase sales at the Raymond Avenue food cooperative. General manager Greg Junge says that call appears to have been heeded.

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Milk costs straining shops

(Photo by Zachary Bielinski) Barista Allison Noble makes a drink with soy milk Monday, Nov. 10 at Bordertown Coffee. Local businesses say they are trying to avoid increasing their prices while the cost of milk rises.

Stephen Miller paid $3.15 for a gallon of 2 percent milk in August. Two weeks ago, he paid about $3.45 per gallon.

Though it was a price increase of about 30 cents, Miller, the manager of Bordertown Coffee on 16th Avenue Southeast, said that extra money adds up for the shop, which goes through about 45 gallons of milk each week.

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Minneapolis approves Prospect Park hotel

The Minneapolis City Council gave the final stamp of approval for a hotel in Prospect Park on Friday.

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Don't let Big Meat eat our bumper crop

The last few years have not been good for the factory farm industry. High prices for corn and other crops (in part driven by the growth of ethanol) made feed costs incredibly high, while at the same time, environmental and animal welfare advocates have been winning ballot and marketplace battles to shift more meat production out of intensive confinement and industrial systems. Hog and cattle producers have been hit by disease, drought and weather related disasters, resulting in losses in both sectors.

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Restore the grid! A vision for the center of Downtown Saint Paul

I live and work in Lowertown. Frequently my errands and wanderings take me up to the Rice Park/Landmark Center/7th Place areas. I’m always either on foot or bike. Over the last two-plus years of living here, I’ve become increasingly annoyed with the presence of the two “SuperBlocks”. These are the blocks that have 7th Street as the northern border, Wabasha Street as the western, 6th Street as the southern and Minnesota Street as the eastern border (See map). They house the Wells Fargo tower and the Bremer Bank tower on the north ends, facing 7th Street. The vacant Macy’s store and DoubleTree by Hilton face 6th Street on the south end. If you are coming from the mostly-pleasant 7th Street pedestrian mall and you want to go over to the eastern side of downtown, the most direct way is through the indoor “shopping” mall and skyway configuration of the SuperBlocks.

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Share Dinkytown stories at a reunion this weekend

(Photos by Bill Huntzicker)

If you have Dinkytown memories and stories, you’re invited to share them this weekend at a couple of events and to reminisce about the area’s past and discuss its future.

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St. Paul aims to lead in workforce racial equity

Nearly $105 million in St. Paul City contracts was awarded in 2013 to businesses owned by people of color, women-owned, and small businesses, according to Saint Paul’s Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO) annual report. That was about 41 percent of the “total business opportunity” of more than $255 million. Approximately 18.6 percent of this “total business opportunity,” or $47.5 million of the contracts awarded last year, went to small businesses; $38.5 million (15 percent of total) went to women-owned businesses; and $18.8 million (7 percent of total) went to businesses owned by people of color.

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