Minnesota Idea Open will pay $1 million for best way to revitalize St. Paul

  • Article by: KEVIN DUCHSCHERE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 6, 2013 - 11:37 AM

This year's Minnesota Idea Open will award a cool million bucks to finance the perfect idea to revitalize our capital city.

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wildhorse1Feb. 6, 13 8:16 AM

St. Paul is a boring city, especially downtown. It's no use trying to pour money into a dying central city that will not appeal to anyone living outside downtown as a destination.

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littlebootsFeb. 6, 1310:35 AM

Wildhorse 100% agree. It is so sad because I guess it used to be a really cool place, my grandparents always talked so fondly of it when I was a kid. Now the only words I can use to describe it are "ghetto like" and "bleak" and I am in downtown every single day, unfortunately. Those golden days are long long gone. I was in Union Depot yesterday, it was 100% empty. So was the rest of the so called "cool" Lowertown area, empty, there's no shops, just two sports bars with TVs everywhere. there is nothing there. Cool lofts though for people to live in but a dead scene everywhere else. Saint Paul has the worst downtown of any city I've ever lived in. It is an atrocious boring desolate place. All the businesses just keep leaving for good reason. It's just a city for bankers, insurance men and government workers, that's it. Where are the bike lanes for young hipsters and professionals!? Saint Paul won't even plow the bike lanes if they do exist, which is rare. Saint Paul needs to learn from Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland and get with the times or it will continue to shrivel and die as a city. Saint Paul lost almost 1% of it's population in the last ten years. That is an ominous sign for any city. There is little to no retail, few to no cool boutiques, indy cafes and shops, and absolutely NO nightlife. It is such a shame, because it has potential, lots of cool old buildings. They should be renovated so as to accommodate ground floor retail. I've tried for a year to start a business sin downtown but it is just so daunting, from a demographics and business climate to draconian city restrictions, why would I even waste my time and money when I can go to Minneapolis, or elsewhere for a thriving scene?My proposal would be to tell the city to get off their high horse, admit that downtown has serious issues and then get out of the way. Provide incentives for small businesses, no welfare for corporations. Downtown needs ground up, grass roots organic growth, not more top down government subsidized projects. I don't want to have to drive to Woodbury to shop!!!? Those are all some ideas, Saint Paul get to work! I'm still moving back to Seattle myself, a year here was a year too much!

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kickbackingFeb. 6, 1310:38 AM

St. Paul would be a much better place to live without all the fradulently documented foreigners. Use the money to deport them.

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littlebootsFeb. 6, 1310:49 AM

Downtown Saint Paul is so awful and dysfunctional I propose a project to move, the Cathedral of Saint Paul, The Landmark Centre, the Capitol and newly renovated (and sadly empty) Union Depot to Minneapolis. We then let Minneapolis annex Saint Paul's quaint residential neighborhoods and we just abandon the rest of downtown.

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cmlaughFeb. 7, 13 2:44 PM

Littleboots- I was just at City Hall and they are feverishly trying to implement your briliant idea's. Your consistent encouragement was greatly appreciated. They were actually really worried you'd be O.K. in Seattle, that it'd be good enough for you. Because you know people as in tune with urbanness as you clearly are would generally go to the bigger actual metropolises of NYC or Chicago, but maybe that's why you are little boots and not big boots. Anyhow, The whole city of St. Paul is wishing you a wonderful time in Seattle.

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littlebootsFeb. 7, 13 6:39 PM

cmlaugh, thanks I appreciate you taking the time to go to City Hall. I'm far past the point of kindly offering opinions and hoping for the best with Saint Paul. Nobody listens, cares or admits the obvious problems, thus I'm in full blown ridicule and joke mode! You see maybe that will wake people up?! Havinf grown up and lived in Seattle for 20 years, I can assure you it will be just fine. I will hang out on my sailboat, probably smoke some marijuana, legally I might add, maybe marry my boyfriend, legally I might add, cherish the right to die, legally I might add, as well as enjoy no income tax, the mountains and the sea, and a truly socially progressive tolerant place with bustling downtown and thriving economy Saint Paul could only ever dream about! In terms of the sobriquet, could you do a little research and discover what it means, perhaps? Well no, as that would require some thought and effort. Caligula would not approve!! Unfortuantely, you've got two more months to listen to my thoughts about downtown Saint Paul, (it is honestly just tough love) but once the ice thaws in Duluth I'm sailing my boat back out the Saint Lawrence and heading south through the Panama canal and onwards back to Seattle!

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littlebootsFeb. 7, 13 6:47 PM

cmlaugh, thanks I appreciate you taking the time to go to City Hall. I'm far past the point of kindly offering opinions and hoping for the best with Saint Paul. Nobody listens, cares or admits the obvious problems, thus I'm in full blown ridicule and joke mode! You see maybe that will wake people up?! Having grown up and lived in Seattle for 20 years, I can assure you it will be just fine. I will hang out on my sailboat, probably smoke some marijuana, legally I might add, maybe marry my boyfriend, legally I might add, cherish the right to die, legally I might add, as well as enjoy no income tax, the mountains and the sea, and a truly socially progressive tolerant place with bustling downtown and thriving economy Saint Paul could only ever dream about! In terms of the sobriquet, could you do a little research and discover what it means, perhaps? Well no, as that would require some thought and effort. Caligula would not approve!! As to why I wouldn't ever move to NYC or Chicago or California, well I'm not a huge fan of gun grabbing plutocrats. So unfortunately, you've got two more months to listen to my thoughts about downtown Saint Paul, (it is honestly just tough love) but once the ice thaws in Duluth I'm sailing my boat back out the Saint Lawrence and heading south through the Panama canal and onwards back to Seattle!

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littlebootsFeb. 7, 13 7:22 PM

You know I went out yesterday to visit some friends in Palm Springs and on the flight there I had a few hours to think about this revitalization project and Saint Paul in general some more. If a city were really thriving would it need a "revitalization" project? Hhhhmmmm. But I digress... Now considering the committee that sponsored the Republican National Convention is running this project as well, perhaps we could get some more of those super creepy Orwellian surveillance cameras they installed for the convention and promised the people they were going to be taken down afterwards but never were? You know the ones everywhere in Saint Paul watching us all, but oddly none happen to be in any high crime areas, but instead are at what are known as "urban choke points"? That would be cool and provide more jobs for creepy pot bellied control freaks watching us in some dystopic bunker somewhere in the bowels of Saint Paul! But again, I apologize as I am digressing once more. In closing I do think we should add the James J Hill reference library to the list of truly fine buildings from Saint Paul's golden era to be moved to Minneapolis. (Everyone outside of the area just refers to the region as Minneapolis anyways, don't you know? something that is deeply insulting to me actually) But we include the library in the "Big Move" on one condition. We shall not bring that guy I saw washing his butt in the sink the last time I was down there! He stays! Sound good? All agreed?!

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littlebootsFeb. 7, 13 8:06 PM

cmlaugh and the rest of Saint Paul, I flew out yesterday to visit some friends in Palm Springs (yes I endured the groin groping and nude scan for the sake of my dear friends) and on the flight there I had a few hours to think about this revitalization project and Saint Paul in general some more. If a city were really thriving would it need a "revitalization" project? Hhhhmmmm. But I digress... Now considering the committee that sponsored the Republican National Convention is running this project as well, perhaps we could get some more of those super creepy Orwellian surveillance cameras they installed for the convention and promised the people they were going to be taken down afterwards but never were? You know the ones everywhere in Saint Paul watching us all, but oddly none happen to be in any high crime areas, but instead are at what are known as "urban choke points"? That would be cool and provide more jobs for creepy pot bellied control freaks watching us in some dystopic bunker somewhere in the bowels of Saint Paul! But again, I apologize as I am digressing once more. I do think we should add the James J Hill reference library to the list of truly fine buildings from Saint Paul's golden era to be moved to Minneapolis. (Everyone outside of the area just refers to the region as Minneapolis anyways, don't you know? something that is deeply insulting to me actually) But we include the library in the "Big Move" on one condition. We shall not bring that guy I saw washing his butt in the sink the last time I was down there! He stays! Sound good? All agreed?! Oh yeah, cmlaugh, you know I forget to ask, when you were down at City Hall, did you take time to stew in the Kafkaesque nightmare of it all or did you just submit my ideas and make a quick exit?

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