Park Bugle 2022 preview

By Scott Carlson

As the Bugle kicks off a new year of reporting, we expect 2022 to be every bit as eventful as 2021. Some articles will be about new issues or events while others will be continuations of stories reported in 2021. Here are a few things to watch for:

Redevelopment plan for lower Luther Seminary property

For the second time, in as many years, redevelopment plans for a 15.5-acre site on the lower campus of Luther Seminary have ground to a halt.

In mid-January, Seminary officials announced that Inland Development Partners, who expressed interest in the property, have decided to abandon their preliminary plans.

“Due to changes in the environment, including increased costs to redevelop the site and changes in policy, including the rent control ordinance recently passed in the city of St. Paul, Inland Development Partners has determined the project is not currently economically viable, and the seminary agrees with that conclusion,”

Seminary officials said in a statement.

“The seminary is studying the best way to move forward in the current environment. We remain committed both to selling the land in order to better fulfill our mission and future development that furthers the city of St. Paul’s goal to provide affordable and mixed-use housing.”

Meanwhile, Luther Seminary’s lease of the former Stub Hall to Ramsey County continues through May 31 this year to temporarily house up to 50 women and couples experiencing homelessness.

SAP Arts festival back

The annual summer St. Anthony Park Arts Festival, which took a hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is slated to return this year, according to event organizers.

“We look forward to welcoming artists and shoppers back to Saint Anthony Park on June 4.”

co-directors Tanya Anderson and Deanna Seppanen

The Arts Festival is a key annual fundraiser for the St. Anthony Park Library. Check out this link for the Festival’s call for artists:

4th in the Park bigger

St. Anthony Park’s annual Fourth of July celebration, known as 4th in the Park, reappeared in 2021 in a live though scaled-down version.

Now, for 2022, organizers are planning for a full-scale return for its 75th anniversary.

“We are hoping to be back to the full-scale event it was back in 2019,” said Emma Seeley, one of the event’s organizer. “We will be having our full-length parade, music/speeches at the bandstand, sports tournaments, as well as bringing back the kid’s zone and happy hour.”

Emma Seeley

District 10 reflections

Shevek Mueller, executive director of the Como Community Council, said District 10 is considering holding a special event in each of its four sub-districts in 2022 “in an effort to reach more and different folks than we have previously. Some of these ideas are in the very early planning stages, but we’re hoping to do an event in early March at North Dale Rec Center, a spring event at or near Orchard Rec Center, our ice cream social at the Streetcar Station and a fall event at Tilden Park.”

Rethinking I-94

What shape will I-94 take in the future? Activists with Transition Town-All St. Anthony Park see that as a significant issue being considered in 2022.

“While its public input process may be flawed, MnDOT’s once-in-several-lifetimes project is airing some ideas that do truly rethink the I-94 corridor (including the Highway 280 interchange), which directly affects south St. Anthony Park and much of St. Paul,” Mindy Keskinen and Pat Thompson said in a statement. “The next 50 years will not be like the past 50. This is a chance to design for a future that is far less car-centric, with human needs met more locally and efficiently.

“More people are grasping that rebuilding for heavier car traffic isn’t the answer,” they said. “Instead, we need to rethink the corridor for public transit, biking, walking and community-building. The climate emergency calls for new designs that nudge us to change our behavior.” 

Scott Carlson is managing editor of the Bugle.

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