To save Mai Village, it'll take a village

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 21, 2012 - 9:26 PM

Mai Village near the State Capitol in St. Paul is facing foreclosure if its owners don't come up with $150,000 in the next few weeks. "We have to cry out, 'Please help us to save this place,'" said Mai Nguyen.

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michaelpatrickSep. 22, 1212:50 AM

I'm one of those people who warned years ago the the CC LRT would kill University Ave as we know/knew it. It was obvious, and irresponsible to do with serious financial assistance--gov't-subsidized or back loans at the least for existing businesses. Now you get all sorts of family businsesses going under. New owners will buy the property now on the cheap. And who will they be? Not mom-and-pop places, but corporate owners or rich real estate speculators. Congrats St. Paul, you killed the most vibrant street in the city.

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vikings1Sep. 22, 12 8:08 AM

You can blame the LRT for part of their financial problems but Mai Village does not have very good food and has gone down hill the past few years.

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chazzboSep. 22, 12 8:27 AM

The owner stated the downturn started with the economy, not the LRT. $315,000 loaned against home equity? How long ago would any bank have written that loan? Comments at the Pioneer Press indicate the place has catered to the folks quoted in the article, but not so much the Thai community. It's sad when any business struggles, but this story is about more than LRT construction.

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robertma2015Sep. 22, 12 8:34 AM

It is sad that this business is in trouble but I have to agree with vikings 1 that the food was not very good. I stopped going there a few years ago. The place is dirty with mediocre food. Those are the real reasons they have failed.

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kkjerSep. 22, 12 8:48 AM

OK, it's a one in several million chance, but everyone shoould go there to eat in the next few weeks and before you get there, by a powerball ticket and give it to Mai.

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MaxpayneSep. 22, 12 9:04 AM

Sounds like her loyal clientele have a 150k to help her out...but will they?

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indie71Sep. 22, 12 9:13 AM

Reads like a project for Robert Irvine (Food Network's Restaurant Impossible).

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rickbmnSep. 22, 1210:11 AM

I feel bad for this owner, but the real story the STRIB misses is that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of small business owners facing the exact same situation: skyrocketing costs (taxes, fuel, utilities) and increased regulations, that really amount to hidden taxes because it takes time and money to comply. Of course the LRT has really hurt a LOT of businesses. Why no hard-hitting stories about what the LRT is REALLY costing taxpayers and businesses (also are taxpayers)?

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cavellSep. 22, 1211:57 AM

They paid $3.8M for the property? What is it taxed at? And it will be sold for much less at sheriffs sale? Why not sell it now and pay off mortgage. Let next owner try and make location profitable?

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evenmorejustSep. 22, 1212:52 PM

LRT has put a lot of small businesses OUT of business. It should have been monorail! This is not anyone's problem. She is not alone in having a hard time. Only the bureaucrats at the State Capital have it good! Drive down University Ave. and look at all the empty storefronts. Downtown St. Paul is not much better. You can shoot a cannon down most of the streets on a Monday morning and not hit anyone! The former party in charged has chased away business for years!

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