Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Justice for University Avenue Rally

An announcement from the University Ave Betterment Association....

Light rail could force businesses to close permanently and displace residents from this community.

  • Demand a thorough study and disclosure of light rail's true impact on businesses and the community as the court has ordered.
  • Demand enough resources to prevent displacement of businesses and residents by the light rail.
  • Demand justice!

Let the Feds and Met Council know that...

The Feds will be there to listen to you.

Join the call for Justice and Equity!
Demand the TRUTH about LRT impacts!

Thursday, February 17, 2011
8:00 AM
849 University Ave W (and Victoria), in Saint Paul

ConContact:; 651-647-2276. Sponsored by UABA.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Are These Officials Anti-Business and Ant-Jobs?

Officials still sticking to the line that small businesses on University Avenue will be just fine when light rail construction comes through. They don't want to think that there will be business losses and with 100s of jobs gone. If they don't think about it, they don't have to do anything about it. Too bad not wanting to think about it doesn't make it true.

These are officials responsible for the impact of the light rail on businesses and the jobs on University Avenue, but chose not do anything to help them, in no particular order:

Met Council Chair Peter Bell
Met Council Chair Susan Haigh
All members of the Met Council
Mayor Christopher Coleman
Mayor R.T. Rybak
Congresswoman Betty McCollum
Congressman Keith Ellison
County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin
County Commissioner Toni Carter
County Commissioner Jim McDonough
County Commissioner Raphael Ortega
All Hennepin and Ramsey County Commissioners
Director of the Light Rail project Mark Fuhrmann
The Federal Transportation Administrator Peter Rogoff
Governor Tim Pawlenty
Governor Mark Dayton

What do the businesses need to survive?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Where's all the parking? No where, that's where!

The "Central Corridor" light rail will take away most of the street parking on University Avenue. So if you are a business that need street parking for your customers and employees, University Avenue is not for you. In this KSTP-TV report, these businesses are looking to move from University Avenue...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Victim of Light Rail

The popular bar and nightclub Rumours & Innuendo was forced to shut down b/c of light rail construction in downtown St. Paul which lasted for more than a year. The owner said the business was down 60% over the period they were impacted. The street has been repaved, but construction is not over yet, it was just prep work. Next year, the street will be ripped up again for building the light rail tracks. Of course, there is nothing to help the businesses during construction when they cant pay their rent or employees. What else you gonna do except close.

This is the announcement on Rumours & Innuendo's website about why they closed...

It is with regret that we inform you that Rumours & Innuendo will be closing for business effective the night of Saturday, October 30 after the Lowertown Entertainment District "Boo's Crawl".
As most of you know, the light rail construction has been a strain on businesses affected on 4th Street in St. Paul. We have attempted to work with the light rail project on timeframes, communication and alternatives to continue to serve our guests. Although there have been bright spots and glimmers of hope to see an end to the work, we have decided that we cannot continue to engage in this uphill battle to provide a clear path to our business and limit interruption to our guest experience. The construction project began 3 months ahead of schedule leaving us 3 weeks to create plans to notify and provide communication to our guests. In addition, the project has continually been pushed back and communication on "what's next" has been unclear and, at times, non-existent. We would like to thank Dave Thune our city councilman for his tireless efforts to champion for our business and the businesses impacted by construction on 4th Street.

We want you to know that we have had a great time over the last (almost) 4 years and that business was really "rockin' strong" until this point of the light rail project. Our staff, managers and partner groups provided a fun and friendly atmosphere where everyone felt like they could come and partake in the experience! Jim and Sean want to thank each of the staff members and want you to help support them as they move on from Rumours & Innuendo. They have been the most incredible staff anyone could ever hope to have!

Over the last 4 years, we have had the pleasure of working with so many groups and local non-profits. We would like to thank you all for working with us and wish you the best of luck as you continue to do your good work for the community.

Our thanks go out to our partner groups:

Minneapolis Movie Bears
The Cockpit Minneapolis
Minnesota Storm Patrol
Mayhem Rugby Team
The Guys and Dolls Show and crew
Seduction Show and crew
GET BENT Kings Show and crew
St. Paul Soul
The Imperial Court of Minnesota
The North Star Gay Rodeo Association

For all of our friends and partner groups, please come down on or before Saturday, October 30 to say goodbye to all of us and give us the opportunity to thank you!

Thank you for your support and friendship throughout this experience.

Sean & Jim Fetterman

Friday, October 29, 2010

We are back....

After more than a year, we are back. We haven't gone away. Light rail on University Avenue didn't go away. Actually the situation is getting worse becuz nothing has changed. Businesses are still threatened and light rail construction on University Avenue is starting. So keeping checking this site becuz we have a lot to update...

Monday, October 19, 2009

TV Report: Bad for Business? Cafe Prada and Senor Wong

This is a TV report on the LRT construction impact on Cafe Prada and Senor Wong in downtown St. Paul. SOB&J helped to make this report happen. -- LB

Friday, October 16, 2009

Raising Hell for Business Mitigation

LRT construction in downtown St. Paul started since July. Two businesses are losing customers, Prada Cafe and Senor Wong (see my two last posts below). AEDA asked the owner of Senor Wong yesterday at the UABA business meeting why there was no signage to direct customers to his restaurant.

Met Council was at the meeting. They said signage was put up yesterday (10/14/09). People were shocked. Why just yesterday?? The construction started in July.

Fred Gale was mad, he's from Congresswoman Betty McCollum office. He said Betty McCollum is concerned for small businesses in the Central Corridor. He couldn't believe there was no signage. Peter Bell gave his word signage would be in place to help businesses. Why didn't this happen downtown? He sounded like he was going to raise hell.

SOBJ later asked AEDA what this signage issue is about. Here's what AEDA wrote to us:

AEDA advocates for business mitigation funding as an option for businesses that will be negatively impacted by light rail transit construction. The Met Council has officially said they are against business mitigation funding. For a long time they have touted signage as one of the main strategies they would use during construction. (The other is marketing). They touted that construction signage would help businesses, pedestrians, and traffic. So it is really a mystery why they did not use adequate signage to help the businesses affected by construction for more than three months. Signage could have brought in more customers. As we know from talking with Senor Wong and Prada Cafe, they have lost up to 50% of their customers since construction started. Another issue that has not been discussed is the street closing. Senor Wong informed AEDA that Met Council told them traffic would be allowed through Fourth Street during construction. But as you can see if you go downtown, the whole street is closed off. Given these inconsistent and inadequate mitigation measures, we question the Met Council's mitigation plan. We would like to see that such a plan be available for the public and allowed for public input. If the construction does not complete on time before Winter, Senor Wong and Prada Café may not be able to weather through construction. Looking into the future, we hope that the Met Council will learn valuable lessons from Fourth Street and apply them to University Avenue, where inadequate mitigation measures would not affect just a handful of businesses, but thousands.
-- Asian Economic Development Association

Amen. All I have to say is, many businesses on University Avenue will not last three months like Senor Wong and Prada Cafe. it would be a nightmare, but don't be surprised if University Avenue is emptied of businesses after construction is down.