Storefront Potential

This is a fantastic model for utilizing valuable storefront space on University Ave. in the midst of Central Corridor construction. Wouldn’t it be nice to see this model applied to historic buildings with great storefront potential?

UMN Students Aid University Ave. Through Storefronts

We’re sure St. Paul’s Central Corridor will be a gorgeous mecca of public transportation when its light rail construction is finished in 2014. But for now, the process hasn’t done much for growth in the area but leave giant roadblocks, both literal and metaphorical, in its path. It’s all a bit depressing, really.

Thanks to a few University of Minnesota students, however, there may actually be a silver lining amidst the mess for small businesses, community groups, and budding entrepreneurs. Founded by two urban and regional planning grad students, the volunteer-based Starling Project hopes to provide a spark in the ailing district by making its numerous empty storefronts available to people and businesses who need a working space with a month-to-month, essentially acting as volunteer brokers between short-term renters and building owners between Highway 280 and Cretin/Vandalia. A UMN art class became the project’s first tenants when they signed on to rent a space to display their midterm projects in a multi-faceted art show.

 

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