As 2022 ended and a snowy 2023 has begun, what does the new year hold for the Midway?
New developments. The Midway and nearby neighborhoods have a lot of potential sites. Will we see approved plans at the site around Allianz Field? What about the former CVS site? The old hardware store on Snelling?
New restaurants. In January, it’s hard to predict all the openings and closings of restaurants. But its also hard to imagine a year going by without both occurring along University Avenue. It isn’t a secret the restaurant industry is tough, so please think of your favorite places and make sure you give them business so they can survive to see another year. While not a new opening, Black Hart is planning an expansion into the open area next to the bar for an outdoor patio area. A new coffee shop, Rafiki, is planning a January opening in the Griggs-Midway Building.
New legislature. With the Minnesota State Senate flipping to DFL-controlled, one party has the trifecta of House, Senate, and Governor’s office. Last year’s split government led to no bonding bill; we should expect bonding and a significant amount of spending this session – let’s hope we see impactful support for the Midway. The new legislature also has new members for our community. New Saint Paul legislators include Senator Clare Oumou Verbeten, Rep. Samakab Hussein, Rep. Leigh Finke, Rep. Liz Lee, and Rep. Maria Isa Perez-Vega.
Changes at SPPD. Axel Henry getting sworn in as the new Saint Paul Police Chief isn’t the only major change for 2023. A new police chief also means restructuring within the department and our Western District Senior Commander Josh Lego has been reassigned to Deputy Chief of Operations. Taking his place is Stacy Murphy, a longtime Saint Paul Police Officer who was most recently an assistant chief.
City council races. Every year in Saint Paul is an election year, and in 2023 it’s the City Council’s turn. Unlike most council election years, we know there will be a majority of new city councilmembers due to four of the seven not seeking reelection. Closest to the Midway, Mitra Jalali is running for reelection while in Ward 1 there will be a new councilmember as Russell Balenger is an interim member after Dai Thao moved. Part of the stipulation as an interim councilmember is you cannot run in the next council race.
There will also be plenty of other surprising stories in 2023. Perhaps a Minnesota United championship run? This new year, let’s resolve to work together to build a stronger community.
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