September 30, 2019

Downtown Alliance announces results of successful Streets of Summer pilot program

Program tested hospitality, safety and cleaning services that could be part of a potential business improvement district in downtown Saint Paul

Saint Paul, Minn. – The Saint Paul Downtown Alliance today announced the results of its 2019 Streets of Summer pilot program, which ran June through August in a four-block area of downtown Saint Paul. The program, which was part of the organization’s research into a potential business improvement district, deployed five full-time staff to pick up trash, remove graffiti, coordinate with adjacent businesses, and give directions and support to visitors.

“We are ecstatic about the results from this summer’s pilot program and the data it provides us as we continue our process of considering a business improvement district for downtown Saint Paul,” said Joe Spencer, president of the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance. “Building a thriving and vibrant downtown requires a collaborative, intentional effort, and we are grateful for everyone who engaged with us this summer and helped make this program possible.”

During the pilot program, the Street Team removed 84 bags of garbage and litter, 550 graffiti tags and 5,300 pieces of gum from sidewalks, and offered directions or assistance to more than 1,700 people. The pilot also included four artist-led placemaking activations that resulted in 53 pop-up musical performances, 32 trash cans transformed with tile mosaics, an outdoor art gallery featuring 12 downtown artists and a large-scale art installation on Landmark Plaza.

“The impact this pilot program had in just a short period of time and in a considerably small area is impressive, and a great starting point for any future programming in downtown Saint Paul,” said Anna Schmoll, regional vice president at Block by Block, the national organization that helped manage this summer’s program. “As someone who oversees business improvements districts across the region, I can safely say this has been an incredibly successful summer.”

The Downtown Alliance was tasked with researching the viability of a business improvement district in downtown Saint Paul, based on the results of a year-long, community-based visioning process in 2017. Since its formation in 2018, the Downtown Alliance has researched and met with other districts and tested that research with the recently concluded pilot program. The next step will be convening members of the private sector interested in creating a district and exploring the boundaries and services that are viable and valuable.

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