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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

New publications are digitized daily and the publications catalog on the CURA website is not automatically updated with links to scanned copies, so please search the CURA collection at the Digital Conservancy for the publications you are looking for:

Assessing the Viability of a Business Improvement District in North St. Paul.

Boulay, William, Robert Clarksen, and Charles Darnell.

PA 8081: Economic Development, spring 2014

The City of North Saint Paul combines a variety of unique small town features into a distinctive sense of place compared to other inner-ring suburbs surrounding Minneapolis/Saint Paul. The 7th Avenue business district is a substantial source of community pride, reflecting the common American vision of a typical “main street”. However, there are questions of whether the district reaches its potential as a thriving local resource for retail sales and community services targeting the residents in the immediate vicinity. Certainly, North Saint Paul will not compete with the convenience of big box retail environments found in nearby regional malls, nor is that the intent of this report. However, the current environment of business leadership, a recent influx of new City staff, and transition amongst elected officials appears to present an opportunity to facilitate the alignment of the pieces of downtown North Saint Paul’s puzzle into a fabric supportive of an enduring, sustainable mainstreet downtown.

This project has explored a variety of ways the City of North Saint Paul could enhance the competitive advantage of the mainstreet downtown and existing business community. The goal of the project is to ensure the future strength and stability of the business climate within the City by analyzing the opinions of owners of businesses and properties in the area, their interest in expanding current levels of service, improvements to the public realm that may attract additional development and investment, and recommendations for implementation. Of particular interest to the study is whether a Business Improvement District (BID) would provide an appropriate platform to build energy necessary to stimulate change–both in terms of additional development and demand for businesses operating in the City’s downtown business district.


Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Resilient Communities Project.
This project was supported by the Resilient Communities Project (RCP), a program at the University of Minnesota that convenes the wide-ranging expertise of U of M faculty and students to address strategic local projects that advance community resilience and sustainability. RCP is supported by the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the Institute on the Environment.
58 pp.
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