Deal saves Mai Village, but St. Paul loses $487K

A struggling restaurant would get to stay open, while the city of St. Paul takes a $487,000 loss under a deal that goes before the city council next week.

The non-profit Hmong American Partnership has offered to buy the University Avenue building where Mai Village is located for about $1.7 million dollars.

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Dancers perform at Mai Village in February 2012 to help launch a branding campaign and bring attention to Asian-owned businesses in St. Paul during light rail construction. (MPR file photo / Nikki Tundel)

That would save the building from foreclosure, but St. Paul would get just pennies on the dollar for the $512,000 it’s owed as part of the mortgage. The restaurant owners would lose the building, but they’d get to keep doing business there.

“It allows the tax base in our city to continue on a really important corner, [and] a really great local business to continue operating,” said Council Member Melvin Carter, who represents the area. “What we get from saving Mai Village and keeping it there really outweighs what we’re giving.”

St. Paul would receive nothing if the foreclosure were completed as scheduled on April 25, because two other lenders have priority under the terms of the mortgage.

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