St. Paul city council spruces up downtownby Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
Historic buildings in downtown St. Paul could get mini-makeovers in time for the Republican National Convention, under a plan approved Wednesday by the city council.
St. Paul, Minn. — Owners can apply for up to $500,000 to spiff up their buildings' exteriors. The money comes from an assessment fund that typically pays for things like special street lamps and road pavers.
The property owners would have up to 20 years to repay the the money through annual assessments.
Real estate broker John Mannillo pushed for the ordinance. He said the building owners will have no problems in making the changes in time for the Republican National Convention in September.
Proponents said a number of buildings could use a facelift. The old Hotel Lowry has been boarded up for years while the owner renovates its ballroom. City officials said he has expressed interest in program.
Council member Pat Harris voted against the plan, saying the city should mind its cash flow during tight budget times.