There’s more to life than retail

Minneapolis and St. Paul have teamed up for a new slogan to market the two cities: “There’s more to life!

What? Was “For Lease” already taken?


Normally it’s not a big deal when a Foot Locker store closes, but it was a big deal this week when the last remaining retail store (that doesn’t sell lottery tickets or coffee) closed its doors in St. Paul’s Town Square.

It’s difficult to overstate how empty the St. Paul skyway system is. Even these pictures from a 30-minute walk through the heart of the system today don’t tell the complete story.


The AT&T store closed a couple of months ago in Town Square.


This hair salon around the corner went belly up this month.


I couldn’t stand back far enough to get all of the empty storefronts into this picture. In a few months, the people walking by may be delegates or media in town for the Republican National Convention. What will they be telling the people back home about downtown St. Paul?

At 5th and Robert downtown, every building seemed to have the same sign:




No doubt, St. Paul is a pretty cool place with some nice restaurants, some great museums, wonderful architecture and nifty neighborhoods. The downtown skyway scene, however, is not screaming “vibrant.”