St. Paul is "strong and growing stronger," Mayor Chris Coleman declared Monday.
"Our accomplishments over the past several years have been remarkable," he said in his State of the City speech. "We have built a city that is vibrant, safe, welcoming to all residents, friendly to families and a leader on a national stage."
The city lost Macy's, its last major downtown retailer, this month.
"In a core downtown that is limited in geography, we have to maximize every opportunity to bring business to downtown," Coleman said. "In addition to this critical site, several other key opportunities for redevelopment must be seized."
The light rail line into St. Paul, scheduled to start operating next year, will be a major boost for the city, Coleman said.
"One clear lesson we learned as we fought to build the Green Line was that if we in the east metro are not fighting hard for transit investment, we can't expect anyone else to do it," he said. "Together, the East Metro Transit Alliance will advocate for equal transit investment on this side of the region."
THE TAKEAWAY: He'll announce his plans next week.
On The Daily Circuit, Coleman declined to say whether he'll run again. "There will be an announcement next week," he said.
Other points he made in his interview with Tom Weber on Tuesday's show:
• On development: Government cannot substitute for the private sector. "The government sector has played its role, but ultimately, it's about leveraging the ability of the private sector to invest."
• On property taxes: St. Paul is still "substantially below where we were supposed to be" in local government aid, despite recent increases. Coleman said he hopes to keep property taxes stable. "I don't do a no-new-taxes pledge," he said, but "that's always been my goal."
• On the Macy's site: "We're going to look at that site," he said, but "what I think is not nearly as important as what the private sector thinks." Coleman acknowledged that "we would love to have had Macy's stay open."
• On the SPCO lockout: "This is a difficult situation," he said, because the orchestra's business model is being forced to change. Even so, SPCO remains "one of the great institutions of the city of St. Paul." If the entire season is canceled, Coleman said, "I fear for the future of the orchestra."