As construction on the Green Line, formerly known as the Central Corridor (CCLRT), edges closer to completion, Saint Paul is seeing economic activity along the line reach pre-recession levels. Excluding infrastructure permits related to the construction of CCLRT, and still with four months of the year to go, economic investment along the line in 2013 has reached a 5-year high with more than $143 million paid in building permits. Comparatively, 2012 saw $142 million in building permits.
These figures show a 49 percent increase in permit valuation activity since 2008, with an expectation that 2013 will see $150 million or more in permit activity before the year is out.
“As light rail construction comes to an end, and businesses are starting to be able to see the boon of light rail activity in the not-too-distant-future, Saint Paul continues to see even more investment in this crucial transit corridor,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “Saint Paul’s vitality is becoming brighter and brighter as the Green Line comes even closer to opening, and I am truly looking forward to what 2014 will bring.”
"After spending years watching crews build the light rail line, the business community is clearly ready to see construction re-shape the buildings and businesses along the Central Corridor," said Steve Johnson, a Senior Vice President at BankCherokee and chair of the Midway Chamber of Commerce. "After years of hearing so many plans and different ideas about what may happen, the growing number of building permits represents something that is very real and extremely positive."
“It is encouraging, but not surprising, that building permits have reached record highs along University Avenue," said Ann Mullholland, co-Chair of the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative. "We have remained committed to ensuring the successful development along the corridor - both for current businesses and residents and those yet to come - and today's data shows strong movement in the right direction. Imagine what will happen to University Avenue when the Green Line fully opens."
In 2009, the city issued $96 million in building permits along the line, $102 million in 2010, and excluding permits issued for projects related to the construction of CCLRT, $51 million in 2011.