The St. Paul City Council on Wednesday approved $1.3 million in forgivable loans for businesses along the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit route to deal with the loss of street parking.
The loans can be used to improve off-street parking facilities that many of the businesses will rely on once the street parking becomes unavailable. According to city officials, the light rail route along University Avenue will reduce the number of street parking spaces by 85 percent.
The council approved 24 different loans ranging from $25,000 to $250,000. The businesses will have to develop final plans for how they will use the money by October 15.
Major construction of the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit route is expected to begin around the State Capitol as early as this summer.