That Was Then. . .This Is Now!
Since 1996, Dan Bostrom has helped change the face of the East Side.
During every year of his service on the St. Paul City Council, he has taken numerous steps to help the city and his beloved East Side move forward. In some cases, he initiated projects and followed them through to completion. On others, such as the Phalen Corridor, he was part of the core group spearheading the development.
Please take a moment to look at some of these efforts to make your neighborhood a better place to live, work, play and shop. Dan has worked with neighborhood planning councils, business associations, community development corporations, businesses and individuals to plan this progress and make it happen.
We won’t try to list everything. What follows is just a partial report on the latest projects in which Dan has played a significant role. With the exception of the major Phalen Corridor project, we are covering only the last three years, just a fraction of the more than 11 years Dan has spent on the council. Some projects are works in progress; many others have been completed.
CRIME PREVENTION – Dan secured money for the Payne Phalen District 5 Planning Council so its staff could encourage the organization of block clubs and community input on fighting crime in the Payne-Phalen area.
BEAT COPS – Since last year, police officers have been assigned to Payne Avenue to curb nuisance and quality-of-life crimes on this major commercial street.
MORE COPS – Dan, a former St. Paul police officer and strong advocate for public safety, helped increase the 2007 city budget so 25 additional police officers could be hired.
The Phalen Corridor
By far the biggest development project on the East Side over the past decade has been the Phalen Corridor. Dan Bostrom was a key figure in this project in four ways - as a City Council member, Port Authority commissioner, member of the Phalen Corridor Steering Committee and commissioner of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority.
The project centers around the new, 2.6-mile Phalen Boulevard, which runs from the Williams Hill Business Park just east of downtown St. Paul to the former site of the Phalen Shopping Center. Along the route are new housing and business parks that have brought many hundreds of jobs to the East Side.
One of the most recent developments was the demolition of the former Globe Industries Building on Phalen Boulevard. The Port Authority bought the site and cleaned up soil pollution. It is now ready for a company that will add even more good-paying jobs to the East Side economy.
Latest Development Initiatives
CUB FOODS – The company is considering the opening of a new grocery store near Clarence Street and Maryland Avenue. The site, partially owned by the city, is in Phalen Village, a major cluster of housing at the east end of Phalen Boulevard. The city is negotiating with Cub about the details of the deal. Mangini’s restaurant and a Wells Fargo Bank used to be on the site.
WALGREEN’S - Dan worked successfully with Walgreen’s on the company’s new store, which will be under construction soon at Maryland Avenue and Arcade Street. The development is entirely private; no public subsidies will be involved. Both closed buildings on the site - a gas station and a bar/pawnshop – have been demolished.
Dan has worked with others to encourage the increased use of brick, glass, stone and other quality design materials to make new developments as attractive as possible. You can see the results in many projects, including Phalen Village housing, the East Seventh Street/Johnson Parkway SuperAmerica, the new Wells Fargo Bank in Phalen Village, the Holiday store at Arcade Street and Sherwood Avenue, the Walgreen’s at Larpenteur and White Bear Avenues, and the CVS drugstore on Maryland Avenue near Arcade Street. Dan will continue to promote the use of quality design and materials in future redevelopment projects.
Developments by Location
PHALEN CROSSING – Housing construction continues at the east end of the Phalen Corridor, which has already become a major residential area. The Phalen Crossing townhomes on the site of the former shopping center are mostly completed, and some are occupied by their new owners.
REALIFE COOPERATIVE OF PHALEN VILLAGE- Seniors are an important part of the East Side's social fabric. To encourage them to stay in our community, new housing choices have to be created. Realife Cooperative of Phalen Village is the first example of that new housing.
AMES LAKE APARTMENTS - East of the former Phalen Shopping Center site, rehabilitation of the Ames Lake apartments has been completed. During the three phases of the $50-million project, more than 550 units of rental housing have been remodeled and renovated.
BCA AND OTHER NEW BUSINESSES- Seeing the relocation of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as an economic development opportunity, Dan worked hard to bring the BCA to Phalen Village. Nearly 300 staff members with good-paying jobs are working in the building; this means new customers for East Side businesses.
ROADS – Traffic safety improvements have been completed at Johnson Parkway, Phalen Boulevard and Magnolia Lane.
Lake Phalen and Phalen Park
SHORELINE RESTORATION – This project, which includes planting of native species of plants, is ongoing. Significant portions of the shoreline have been completed.
HANDICAPPED-ACCESSIBLE PLAYGROUND– In 2005, Dan worked with a Minnesota orthopedics organization and a private company on the installation of playground equipment adjacent to the Phalen Park Picnic Pavilion. This is the only fully handicapped-accessible playground in St. Paul.
NEW SIGNAGE - Two new stone signs were installed in Phalen Park last year on East Shore Drive at Larpenteur and Arlington Avenues. They are made of Kasota limestone salvaged from the old Burr Street Bridge. A few years ago, new main entrance signs, made of limestone and wood, were installed at Wheelock Parkway and Arcade Street and at Johnson Parkway and Maryland Avenue.
STONE ARCH BRIDGE – Plans to rehabilitate Phalen Park’s historic Stone Arch Bridge recently took a major step forward. The city’s Capital Improvement Budget Committee recommended funding for the project next year.
White Bear Avenue
HAZEL PARK HEIGHTS CONDOMINIUMS - Dan was an active partner with the North East Neighborhoods Development Corp. in moving this project toward completion. The condos at White Bear and Maryland Avenues were completed in February. The project involved the purchase and demolition of the former Lou’s Market and the development of high-quality, affordable condos on that lot and adjacent property.
HAZEL PARK RECREATION CENTER- Our recreation centers serve as a gathering place for the community. The new Hazel Park Recreation Center is a source of pride for the neighborhood and is symbolic of a renewal that is taking place there.
ROAD WORK – In 2006, left turn lanes and turn signals were added at White Bear and Minnehaha Avenues. This year, the city will construct new left turn lanes and install new signals at White Bear and Maryland Avenues.
RAIN GARDEN – Work is underway on a new Rain Garden at Hillcrest Knoll Park. The garden, which is on the eastern end of the park, will be completed this year.
DENTAL CLINIC – Construction has begun on a new dental clinic at White Bear and East Seventh Street. The North East Neighborhoods Development Corp. was a major player in securing this development.
HAFNER’S SITE – The city has purchased the site of the former restaurant at White Bear and Iowa Avenues and is exploring appropriate redevelopment opportunities.
Payne Avenue/Arcade Street
SWEDISH BANK BUILDING REHABILITATION - Dan worked with the East Side Neighborhood Development Co. on the purchase of the historic Swedish Bank Building, at Payne and Case Avenues, as well as a duplex and a vacant rooming house behind it. The plan calls for redeveloping the bank into a functional commercial building. The two residential buildings have been torn down to provide parking, and renovation of the former bank is underway.
SWEDE HOLLOW BROWNSTONES – These townhomes have been completed, and many have been sold.
MARYLAND AND ARCADE TURN SIGNALS- Dan demonstrated his support for small businesses by securing funding for a left turn lane at Maryland & Arcade. The lane allows traffic to stay on commercial streets, rather than turning into the neighborhood.
ICE ARENA – Improvements at the Johnson-Gustafson Ice Arena were completed, through a cooperative effort of the city, county and school district.
RECREATION CENTER – This year’s proposed St. Paul Capital Improvement Budget includes money for a new Arlington Recreation Center and playground. Tentative plans call for the new center to be part of a major development, including a new Arlington Library and a new Merrick Community Center, in the area of Maryland and Payne Avenues.
Payne Avenue/Phalen Boulevard
SENIOR HOUSING – Working with the East Side Neighborhood Development Co., Dan helped fund and develop a new, transit-oriented housing choice for seniors at the intersection of Payne Avenue and Phalen Boulevard. Construction of the apartments is complete, and seniors have moved into their new homes.
Duluth Street/Case Avenue
RECREATION CENTER – Planning is underway for a new facility to replace the current Duluth-Case Recreation Center. Dan secured Capital Improvement Bond funds so the community could begin planning.
Maryland Avenue/Arcade Street
CVS DRUG – Dan worked with the Payne Phalen District 5 Planning Council and CVS to assemble a buildable site and develop a store that is both attractive and pedestrian-friendly.
PURCHASE OF 1170 ARCADE ST. – Partnering with the North East Neighborhoods Development Corp., Dan arranged the city’s purchase of this former gas station that was going to be used for outdoor storage. Now he can help the neighborhood in exploring development possibilities for this site on a major commercial strip.
TOWNHOME PROJECT – Dan and the city’s development staff worked with a private developer, who bought the site of a former gas station at Maryland Avenue and Forest Street. The new townhomes are finished and occupied.
PREPARED & PAID FOR BY THE BOSTROM VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE, 1646 EAST SHORE DRIVE, SAINT PAUL, MN 55106-1139