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Proponents of the proposed Central Corridor light rail line tout the project’s long term benefits, not only regarding transportation, but increased business and residential development. Such improvements typically follow the installation of light rail as the area becomes more accessible for commuters and more attractive to visitors.
But some neighborhood advocates in St. Paul worry about the unintended consequences. They don’t want to see low-income and minority residents pushed out as property values rise. They don’t want Starbucks and other high-rent chain stores to displace the mom-and-pop Asian grocers and beauty salons.
One idea aiming to avoid some of the pitfalls of increased development is creation of a World Heritage Cultural District encompassing Frogtown, St. Anthony, Rondo and other sections touched by the rail line.
• Could such a designation be effective?
• What sorts of issues should Cultural District preservation address?
• What does designation of a cultural heritage district mean?
• Who gets to decide on the designation?
• What costs are involved? What funds are available, and from what sources?
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