Background

The goal of our activities is to develop a 15-year Master Plan that makes the most of upcoming investments and includes proactive strategies for continuing and expanding the Greater Lowertown Area’s:

  • Commitment to the arts
  • Use of sustainable design and practices, including green and blue infrastructure
  • Historic character
  • Economic vitality
  • Livability for a diversity of residents, businesses and visitors
  • Creative community
  • High-tech capacity
  • Commitment to social, environmental and economic equity
  • Commitment to active living, community involvement, and civic engagement.

We envision that this plan will set the stage for a new phase of development that furthers Lowertown’s reputation as a thriving urban village.

Saint Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood is an internationally-known urban village with a thriving arts community, beautiful parks, unique historic character, a booming Farmers Market, and proximity to the Mississippi River.  Central Corridor LRT will serve Lowertown.  Union Depot, an historic train depot at the heart of the neighborhood, will be converted to a multi-modal transit hub.

From 1979 through 2006, the Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation led community-focused revitalization work in this area.  Its commitment to nurturing the local arts community, its forward-thinking use of high-tech strategies, and its commitment to sustainability have made Lowertown the vibrant area that it is today.  Further, on-going efforts have helped redefine Lowertown as including not only the historic district, but the land to the east that stretches to the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, and businesses on the north side of Seventh Street.  This Greater Lowertown area has the potential to become even more vibrant than it is today.

Planning documents, including the Historic Lowertown Small Area Plan, Urban Village Vision, Report of the Diamond Products Task Force, District 4 Plan, Saint Paul Mississippi Development Framework, St. Paul Downtown Development Strategy, Saint Paul Comprehensive Plan, Downtown St. Paul Station Area Plan, Central Corridor Development Strategy are important frameworks for guiding redevelopment.  (Most of these documents are available on the City’s web site: www.stpaul.gov under Planning & Economic Development.)  However, significant changes are on the horizon— and there is an urgent need to plan for the next phase of Lowertown’s growth, both to leverage new opportunities and to plan for the long term.

Projects currently in the planning stage include:

  • The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line, which will include significant changes to the Union Depot, Fourth Street, and other areas of the community.
  • A Central Corridor Light Rail Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF) planned for the southern half of the former Diamond Products site on Broadway Street, across from the Saint Paul Farmers Market.
  • A regional ballpark for the Saint Paul Saints and City recreation programs north of the proposed OMF on Broadway Street (pending State funding).
  • The completion of the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, including a planned interpretive center.
  • Reconstruction of the Lafayette Bridge, which will shape use of East Fifth Street.
  • The conversion of Union Depot into a multi-modal transportation facility.
  • Indoor Farmers Market