Joe Spencer, the former director of arts and culture for the city of St. Paul, has been named the president of the newly formed St. Paul Downtown Alliance.

The Downtown Alliance, which was launched in February, is a nonprofit that represents downtown stakeholders who want to support a strong and vibrant St. Paul.

“Downtown St. Paul is home to an incredible variety of assets — from large companies and independent tech entrepreneurs, to world class entertainment venues and lifesaving social institutions, and I am honored to be able to continue working with them on a shared vision,” Spencer said in a statement.

Spencer will start June 18, and report to the Downtown Alliance’s board, led by Mayor Melvin Carter and Securian Financial Chief Executive Chris Hilger.

“In his work bolstering St. Paul’s nationally renowned arts and culture scene, Joe Spencer has built cross-sector relationships and leveraged diverse economic opportunities for the benefit of our entire city,” Carter said in a statement. “His forward-looking, inclusive vision is exactly what we need to re-imagine how downtown St. Paul can create jobs and opportunities for all of us.”

Two-story commercial building could take place of house in Edina

A new two-story retail and office building could soon be constructed on France Avenue near 45th Street in Edina.

The new 10,000-square-foot building would take the place of an existing single-family home that has been used for offices. Drawings show the project would be called the Landmark Building.

The building, at 4532 France Av., across the street from the Elements of Linden Hills apartments, would include a roof terrace with outdoor seating for employees as well as eight parking spaces in the front, significantly less than the 50 spaces that would normally be required.


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