Future of District del Sol: More Than Just Good Food
For those of you who know the District del Sol on Saint Paul's west side, you know it's a great spot to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
But businesses there would like to see more of you stop by, all year round.
They've proposed a redevelopment plan centered at the intersection of south Robert Street and Cesar Chavez Avenue.
El Burrito Mercado is a hub of activity on Cesar Chavez Street in Saint Paul's District del Sol.
It’s a grocery store, marketplace, and restaurant that really packs in the people during lunch-hour.
Co-owner Tomas Silva says this neighborhood could be so much more, "You have a lot of retail spaces that are available, nobody is stepping up to take it on."
Silva is on a task force that has come up with a plan to revitalize the area, that's most known by Twin Cities residents for its food.
"I don't think a lot of people know about this neighborhood -- but we would love them to come by because there is so much to share,” said Sara Danzinger.
Danzinger and her colleagues at the Girl Scouts facility on Robert Street typically walk to lunch.
But overall, the intersection of Robert and Cesar Chavez isn't considered all that pedestrian friendly.
The task force proposes to make the area become more walkable, along with more plazas and small parks.
The group also proposes affordable housing with retail space on street level. They'd like to see that space filled with stores that sell things residents can’t currently find here, like pet supplies, books, or hardware.
City planners say this is a good blueprint for development -- we asked, there's no price-tag yet because a lot would need to happen before it becomes reality. That’s mainly -- a developer who shares the same vision of the neighborhood -- and the money to make it possible.
Another part of the proposal would aim to preserve some of the many murals that are painted on the side of buildings in District del Sol. New murals would be painted in a way that made them a bit more tolerant to our Minnesota winters.