Summit University

Planned New Neighborhood Holds Promise for Saint Paul

Civic, community, educational and political leaders in Saint Paul want to create a long-term plan to revitalize the Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods.

Along with 339 other communities in the U.S., the Wilder Foundation of St. Paul has applied for a $500,000 grant to plan the Promise Neighborhood. This Saint Paul neighborhood would be designed to improve the lives of its residents by focusing on the health and well-being of children and families.

From making more fruit and veggie servings available to prekindergarten children to tracking students's progress through college, the Promise Neighborhood idea is sometimes referred to as a "cradle-to-career" approach. The Promise Neighborhood's proposed all-emcompassing philosophy is modeled after the Harlem Children's Zone. The Harlem Children's Zone Project is a unique, holistic approach to rebuilding a community so that its children can stay on track through college and go on to the job market.

Whether St. Paul gets the grant or not, officials plan to move forward with the vision anyway. Community meetings could start as soon as this summer. Actually, some of the ideas envisioned for the Promise Neighborhood are already in different stages of implementation in St. Paul. One of those programs is Achievement Plus, which brings additional learning opportunities and support to students at three St. Paul elementary schools: Dayton's Bluff, North End and John A. Johnson.

Officials have secured the equivalent of $250,000 in matching donations if the grant is awarded, which includes $160,000 from local foundations.

The U.S. Department of Education will award the grants this year. Afterwards, it will begin accepting applications...

Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Buys 8 Saint Paul Houses for $8

Eight properties in St. Paul were purchased for $8 recently. The deal struck between St. Paul and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity was for properties in two of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Seven are in Payne-Phalen, the eighth is in Summit-University.

Five of the Payne-Phalen properties will be part of a program taking place this October when former President Jimmy Carter will visit to help build or fix up 20 homes in struggling Saint Paul and Minneapolis neighborhoods. Two foreclosed houses will be rehabilitated, and three new homes will be built on foreclosed lots. An additional five properties near the ones purchased by Habitat for Humanity will get exterior repairs through the nonprofit's A Brush With Kindness program.

"It's an opportunity to focus on neighborhood revitalization and new opportunities," said Sue Haigh, president of the nonprofit affordable housing provider.

Habitat for Humanity is scheduled to go before the Minneapolis City Council next month to talk about 10 properties there.

The organization is expected to acquire 50 Saint Paul properties over the next 4 years.

...

Saint Paul Real Estate Market Analysis for February 2009

According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities, new posted listings for homes in St. Paul MN, decreased in February.  There were 480 new listings in Saint Paul throughout the month, compared to the 602 homes put up on the market during February 2008.  That is a decline of -20.3%.  In contrast, there were 548 new listings in January 2009.  The Merriam Park neighborhood and West 7th neighborhood of St. Paul experienced increases in posted new listings, while rest saw their listings decrease.

For the year to date posted new listings in St. Paul, the picture looks just a little different. For February and January, there were 1,027 new listings, compared to the 1,164 during the same time frame of 2008. That’s a -11.8% reduction.  The Greater East Side, Merriam Park, and West 7th neighborhoods saw a rise in listings up to +17.4%; other Saint Paul neighborhood listings dropped.

There were many homes sold in Saint Paul in February compared to 2008.  There were 202 homes sold throughout the month, a full +27.0% increase over the 159 homes sold in February of 2008!  Rates at which homes were selling varied from neighborhood to neighborhood, with the biggest differences seen in West Side/Cherokee...

Saint Paul Real Estate Market Analysis for January 2009

The first St. Paul real estate market analysis for the year of 2009! New posted listings for homes in St. Paul, Minnesota, decreased in January according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities.  During the month, there were 548 new listings in Saint Paul, compared to the 562 homes put up on the market during January 2008.  That is a decrease of just -2.5%.  It was a mixed bag when the posted new listings are broken out by neighborhood, as some big increases while others saw decreases. Here is a breakdown of new listings by Saint Paul neighborhood:

The number of homes sold within St. Paul, Minnesota, in January 2009 is higher than the same month of 2008, a trend that has been running for a few months.  There were 170 homes sold throughout the month, a +7.6% increase over the 158 homes sold in January 2008.  Closed sales on homes for January 2009 in Saint Paul by neighborhood:

The prices of homes sold in St. Paul have continued to fall.  The average sales price of a home sold in January was $111,222, a negative change from the $205,897 of January2008.  That is a decrease of -46.0%. Only the West 7th neighborhood saw an increase in real estate prices in January. The percentage...

Saint Paul Real Estate Market Analysis for December 2008

This is the final St. Paul real estate market analysis for the year of 2008.  According to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities, new posted listings for homes in St. Paul, Minnesota, increased in December.  There were 399 new listings in St. Paul, compared to the 351 homes put up on the market during the same month of 2007, which adds up to an increase of +13.7%.  Unlike November, lots of neighborhoods in Saint Paul saw increases in new listings.  The increase is a little unusual, because December is obviously a month full of holidays and most people don’t want the hassle of putting their house up on the market.

There were 6,859 new listings of homes for sale in St. Paul that were posted within the 2008 year.  That is a decline of -8.8% from the 7,520 homes listed throughout the year of 2007.  The neighborhoods of Mac-Groveland, St. Anthony / Midway, and West 7th experienced the greatest declines in new listings.  The Phalen and West Side / Cherokee neighborhoods have been the only St. Paul neighborhoods that saw boosts in new listings compared to 2007.

There was a higher number of homes sold within St. Paul, Minnesota, in December 2008 than in 2007.  There were 217 homes sold during the month, +5.9% more than the 205 homes sold during December of 2007.  There were 3,046 closed sales in Saint Paul...

Saint Paul Real Estate Market Analysis for November 2008

New posted listings for homes in Saint Paul, Minnesota, decreased during November according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities.  Throughout the month, there were 398 new listings in St. Paul.  In the previous year, there were 481 new listings during November.  That is a -17.3% reduction in new listings, comparatively.  The only neighborhoods of St. Paul which saw increases in posted new listings of homes for sale were Phalen and Merriam Park.  A drop off in new listings is to be expected now and over the next few months as the winter season really starts kicking up snow. 

Saint Paul’s new listings of homes for sale from for the year-to-date from January through November are at 6,460.  That is a decrease of -9.9% from last year’s 7,169 for the same time frame.  Southeast, St. Anthony / Midway, and West 7th neighborhoods are continuing to experience great declines in homes being listed for sale.  The Phalen and West Side / Cherokee areas have been the only Saint Paul neighborhoods to see boosts in new listings through the month of November.

And now the part that you’ve been waiting for: the good news.  The number of homes sold within St. Paul, Minnesota, during November...

Saint Paul Real Estate Market Analysis for October 2008

New listings for homes in Saint Paul, Minnesota, fell again during October according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities.  Throughout the month, there were 515 new listings in St. Paul.  During October of 2007, there were 603 new listings.  That is a decrease of about -14.6%.  Normally, I list the neighborhoods here that saw the greatest decreases in new listings, but there are many which saw decreases of 20% to over 45%.  The only neighborhoods which saw any significant increase of new listings were the Phalen and Merriam Park neighborhoods of Saint Paul

Posted new listings of Saint Paul real estate for the year to date were at 6,062 from January through October.  That is a decrease of -9.4% from last year’s 6,688 during the same time period.  Merriam Park, West 7th, and St. Anthony / Midway continue to experience great decreases in new listings.  The Phalen neighborhod and West Side / Cherokee neighborhoods are the only ones to have seen any increases in new listings for the year to date.

Now for a really good number: The amount of homes sold within Saint Paul, ...

Moscow on the Hill

The other day, one of my friends had a birthday.  As is customary, the birthday boy got to choose the activities.  What did my eccentric friend want to do?  Have dinner at Saint Paul’s Moscow on the Hill, the city’s finest, and only, Russian restaurant.  Chefs at the Moscow on the Hill restaurant prides itself on offering authentic and traditional Russian food and drink.  I thought that because I went to St. Paul’s only Russian restaurant recently, my Friday post this week would be a review of the lovely experience I had there. 

We had dinner early, with everyone arriving at the restaurant by about 5:30.  The servers were very attentive with keeping drinks flowing and water glasses filled.  The atmosphere was laid back, with dimly-lit rooms, traditional artwork, and Russian and other European styles of music playing softly.  Later in the night, there was live music, as a musician with an accordion played music for the people dining.

Everyone ordered something different.  I ordered the Chicken Kiev with potatoes and sautéed vegetables.  The chicken was fantastic; the frozen stuff at the store doesn’t even give it justice. The outside was extra-crispy, the chicken was juicy and tender, and the inside was filled with herbs, butter, and bacon. My arteries may be a little worse for the wear, but it was delicious.  The potatoes were mashed and pretty normal, the vegetables were nothing special, but there was a sauce on them that was fantastic I couldn’t quite identify....

Saint Paul Real Estate Market Analysis for September 2008

Changing from what has been happening in recent months, new listings of homes for sale in Saint Paul, Minnesota, rose during September according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors’ Market Update for 100 Twin Cities Communities.  During the month, there were 621 new listings in St. Paul.  Throughout September of last year, there were 602 new listings.  That is equal to an increase of about +3.2%!  The Phalen and Highland Park neighborhoods of St. Paul experienced the greatest increase in new listings during September at +44.3% and +32.4% respectively. On the contrary, the West 7th and Merriam Park neighborhoods saw declines in new listings of -45.0% and -50.0% respectively during September. 

Posted new Saint Paul real estate listings from January through September for the year to date were at 5,543.  That is a decrease of -8.9%.  The month of September’s rise in new listings helped to raise that number up a bit that from August’s -10.2%.  If the trend continues in October for new listings in Saint Paul, the real estate market might be on par with posted listings for last year.  Saint Paul's Merriam Park and St. Anthony / Midway had the most extreme decrease in new listings.  The Phalen and West Side / Cherokee neighborhoods have seen moest...

Summit Avenue a Top 10 Great Street For 2008

The American Planning Association has named Summit Avenue as one of 10 Great Streets for 2008 through APA’s Great Places in America program. APA Great Places exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value.

The APA says that Summit Avenue represents the nation’s most intact Victorian-era Boulevard.  Summit Avenue was selected because of its breathtaking vistas, park-like traits, and long history of planning measures, community participation, and private stewardship that have kept Summit’s unique qualities intact.

APA Great Places offer excellent choices for where and how people work and live. The areas given this designation are enjoyable, safe, and desirable locations. They are places where people want to not only to visit, but to live, work, and play every day. America’s greatest streets are characterized by many criteria, including architectural attributes, accessibility, functionality, and civic involvement. Through Great Places in America, APA recognizes distinctive and authentic features found in three essential components of all communities - streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces.

To understand how Summit Avenue received this designation, it helps to know how this area of ...

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