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University Avenue Communities

Capitol to Campus








UABA and U-PLAN Release Report on the Loss of Occupied Storefronts During Construction
POSTED: April 18, 2011

Report on the Loss of Occupied Storefronts

along University Avenue:

Storefront Inventory April 2011


Press Release - UABA Responds to Metropolitan Council Supplemental Assessment with a 250-page Analysis

Click here to read the full report:

UABA Response to MetCouncil Report

Click here to download PDF of press release:

UABA Press Release

March 31, 2011

Saint Paul

Today, the University Avenue Betterment Association, known as UABA, submitted over 250 pages of analysis to the Met Council as part of the required public comment for inclusion in the Environmental Assessment being prepared for Federal District Court Judge Donovan Frank.  This requirement was consequent to an opinion issued earlier this year by Judge Frank in regards to the Rondo Lawsuit in which the court found that the Met Council had inadequately analyzed the impacts of Light Rail construction on University Avenue businesses.


Recently, the Met Council further upset the small business community by issuing a draft Environmental Assessment predicting a mere 2.5% drop in business revenue by comparing LRT to a suburban Houston highway expansion project.


UABA’s submission contains an extensive comparative analysis and suggests several more appropriate comparables, such as a similar light rail project in Seattle and the recent Lake Street reconstruction.


UABA’s submission was prepared by a team of volunteers, utilized no paid staff, and received no government or philanthropic funding.  All materials and time were 100% donated.


In addition to contending that the Met Council gave primary consideration to a project that is not relevant, UABA is strongly arguing that the Met Council has been deficient in not conducting baseline traffic, pedestrian, and sales revenue studies so that the true impacts of light rail construction on businesses can be measured.


“It is almost as if they do not want to know so they cannot be held accountable.  Well, that is going to change.  We all need to face the facts.”

-Jack McCann, UABA Board President.


UABA is two years old and has 237 members, making it the largest business association on University Avenue.  It has focused on advocating for more parking, better targeted and timelier implementation of resources for small businesses to survive construction such as a business compensation fund, and for local government, nonprofits, and philanthropic organizations to better listen to and respond to the needs of small businesses.


Next week, UABA will conduct a storefront vacancy survey and compare it with December 2010 data, thus creating an apples-to-apples tracking system for changes in the commercial vacancy rate.  This will in turn be done on a quarterly basis during light rail construction.  UABA will be using the same business list that the Met Council uses.



Announcement - Changes at UABA:

UABA is pleased to announce that board member John Vaughn has begun serving as Interim Executive Director.  John is the former CEO of Flannery Construction and served for six years prior to that as the Executive Director of the Northeast Community Development Corporation, where he led a successful commercial corridor revitalization program.   He has a great deal of community organizing experience and deep family roots on the Central Corridor.

During the next few months, while the federal court considers the small business community's contention that local government and its partner nonprofits have not paid sufficient attention to mitigating the negative effects of light rail construction on small businesses, John and his fellow board members will be focusing on building UABA's base.

UABA is only two years old and has 237 members, making it the largest business association on University Avenue.  We have busted our butts sticking up for small businesses.   It has not been easy.  But, we are strong in our conviction that Unversity Avenue needs an effective small business association.  Reaching this goal depends on you - the small business.  We need your help.

So, please give John a call at (651) 641-0334, or email him at info@universityavenuebiz.com.   He would be happy to visit you and discuss how your business and UABA can work together.  UABA will do whatever it can to help your business survive and thrive.  We are your voice and your advocate.

Thank you.



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University Avenue Betterment Association Mission Statement:

Our mission is to ensure that a viable and diverse business and residential environment is sustained and enhanced along University Avenue. We are dedicated to the development of a strong collaborative relationship among the business community, residential community, local government, and the people we serve.

UABA's top priorities are:

  • Parking
  • Business Preparation
  • Pedestrian Environment



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University Avenue Betterment Association

part of the

Community Solutions Center

712 University Avenue • Suite 105 • St. Paul, Mn 55104 • 651-641-0334