The eastern portion of the Green Line and University Avenue presents a rich mix of opportunities, culture and history. At the heart of this grouping lies three key districts.
Divided but not defeated by the introduction of Interstate 94 in the 1960s, the Rondo area is the historic and continuing epicenter of the African-American community in Saint Paul. In more recent decades, the Little Mekong district near University and Western Avenues has become a center for immigrants from the East Asian community in the Twin Cities. And the eastern edge of this area is animated by the adjacent State Capitol campus and its proximity to downtown Saint Paul.
Following the I-94 corridor, and bound together by the five-year-old METRO Green Line light rail project along University Avenue, this area is ripe for the kind of change that benefits the many diverse residents who call the area home. Leveraged carefully, Opportunity Zone financing can play a constructive role in the area's continuing evolution.
- Situated between Minneapolis and Saint Paul CBD, this area is drawn together around the METRO Green Line light rail, and provides ready access to I-94.
- Centered at University and Western Avenues, the Little Mekong Cultural District provides an overarching identity for many southeast Asian entrepreneurs. The Hmongtown Marketplace provides an indoor and outdoor market space near Como and Rice.
- A new Rondo Commemorative Plaza is the first step in a proposed freeway “lid” proposal, embraced by MnDOT, to provide a focus for renewed housing and economic developments along the old Rondo Avenue corridor.
- The core of the area has been locally designated as a Promise Neighborhood, unlocking significant social and support for youth in local schools, coordinated through the Amherst Wilder Foundation.
- The vacant 17-acre Sears site, directly adjacent to State Capitol Campus, and north of downtown provides significant opportunity for mixed commercial and residential redevelopment.
Click here to view the Green Line East Opportunity Map!