3 Minnesota communities agree to redesign & revitalize the ugly place where they all meet

In Minnesota, leaders from three communities—Roseville, Maplewood and Saint Paul—have realized that there’s a spot they all share which is in desperate need of redesign and revitalization.

The intersection as it looks today.

The intersection of Rice Street and Larpenteur Avenue is where all three municipalities meet, and it’s not a place that any self-respecting city planner or designer would brag about.

Since it’s on the periphery of all three cities, all three have ignored it. Until now.

They now share a vision for revitalizing a neighborhood where aging strip malls currently dominate.

Their joint plan now envisions the intersection (now being called the “Gateway”) as a “high energy, mixed-use area that serves the neighborhoods and broader community. The Gateway will be linked by a continuous multi-modal transportation network with improved streetscape improvements and access to natural features/amenities.

Design and redevelopment will promote pedestrian activity, support business vitality and create a greater sense of place in a compact, connected walkable built environment.”

Collaboration among St. Paul City Council President Amy Brendmoen and mayors Dan Roe of Roseville and Nora Slawik of Maplewoodis key. “We all agreed when we started meeting that this looked like a place that was an afterthought,” Brendmoen said.

But they also saw potential for it to be “the heart of the community” for those who live there, Brendmoen observed, noting that residents “don’t much care about the boundaries.”

The revitalization plan emphasizes better connections and safer pedestrian crossings, as well as enhanced green space, including improved access to Lake McCarrons County Park.

Featured image via Google Maps.

See editorial in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

See the Gateway revitalization plan and image credits.

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