ERICA STRAIT, FOXY FALAFEL • 791 RAYMOND AVE
Did You Know
From the post-Civil War years to the mid-20th Century, the Raymond Creative Enterprise Zone was one of America’s largest industrial and commercial freight facility areas.
By 1880, nine railroads came into Minneapolis or Saint Paul, each maintaining individual terminals and the area became a clearinghouse for most freight bound either west or east.
Raymond Creative Enterprise Zone
Once known as the “West Midway,” the Raymond Avenue area, now known as the Creative Enterprise Zone, is enjoying a renaissance featuring live/work art spaces, sidewalk cafes and coffee shops.
The Raymond Creative Enterprise Zone runs west to east from Emerald Street to Cleveland Avenue in Saint Paul, with State Highway 280 running north/south directly through the middle. Once commonly known as the West Midway of Saint Paul, the area was then the city’s largest industrial district.
Raymond Creative Enterprise Zone’s historic architecture reflects that heritage, with buildings developed to take advantage of the area’s proximity to rail and highway transportation. The “Creative Enterprise Zone” name reflects local interest in transforming the Raymond Avenue area from its heavy industrial heritage to a new era of livable, mixed-use neighborhoods. Already, many historic buildings have been converted to condominiums, apartments and live-work art spaces. Sidewalk cafes and coffee shops in the Raymond Creative Enterprise Zone serve residents, local workers and visitors.
The next era will reflect local interest in making the area a center of creativity and enterprise. Blue-collar and white-collar businesses will co-mingle in the Raymond Creative Enterprise Zone, reflecting a blend of the area’s cultural past and its new next stage, with a variety of light manufacturing, business start-ups, professional offices, and non-profit organizations.
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