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GOP convention didn't bring permanent businesses

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Security fence
A fence separates the Xcel Energy Center from the West Seventh Street bars and restaurants just across the street. Even though the event brought 50,000 people to the city, there has been debate on its long-term economic impact.
MPR Photo/Laura Yuen

The Republican National Convention brought thousands of visitors to St. Paul but hasn't helped the city build its permanent business base.

      That's according to a new report from commercial real estate firm Colliers Turley Martin Tucker. The annual report says office vacancies in downtown St. Paul have grown from 26.7 percent to 27.9 percent - and the growth would be greater except two vacant buildings are no longer being counted because they are being converted to other uses.

      The report says about 50,000 square feet used for the Republican National Convention is now empty and adding to the vacancy rate.

      Moves by Educational Credit Management Corp. and the federal courts also added to the count.

      The report says no new developments in downtown St. Paul are expected in the near future.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com