Jonathan Sage-Martinson, who helped St. Paul neighborhoods adjust to the development of the light-rail line on University Avenue, has been named the city's new planning and economic development director.

Mayor Chris Coleman announced Wednesday that Sage-Martinson will take over on Aug. 4. He replaces Cecile Bedor, who stepped down in early May to become executive vice president of Greater MSP, a private and public nonprofit partnership promoting regional growth.

Sage-Martinson has more than 15 years of community and economic development experience, most recently as director of the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, a group of local and national foundations formed to help University Avenue neighborhoods benefit from the new light-rail line.

"I am confident that Jonathan will be able to hit the ground running, working with stakeholders in all sectors of the planning and economic development community," Coleman said in a statement.

Matt Kramer, president of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, said the group looks forward to Sage-Martinson applying his skills to developments like the Ford site in Highland Park and the former Macy's downtown.

Bedor, who was director for eight years, oversaw several high-profile projects, including the city's development of the Lofts at Farmers Market and Penfield housing projects, zoning changes for the Green Line and the early stages of redevelopment at the Ford site. Since she left, Library Director Kit Hadley has served as interim director.

Kevin Duchschere