Signage variance request—Victoria Crossing West Mall

Charles Bohrer–Escom Properties had requested a variance to install additional signage at Victoria Crossing West Mall located at 867 Grand Ave. A public hearing will be held on MONDAY, SEPT. 23, 2019 at 3:00PM at 15 Kellogg Blvd West, Room 330. No neighborhood meeting will be held on this matter because of the late notice. Residents may submit their comments in writing to directly to the City or attend the hearing. Full details are available here.

Denise Aldrich
Parking variance review—Bruegger's Bagels

The existing parking variance granted in 1991 to Bruegger’s Bagels, located at 800 Grand Avenue, is under review by the Saint Paul Board of Zoning Appeals. A public hearing will be held on MONDAY, SEPT. 23, 2019 at 3:00PM at 15 Kellogg Blvd West, Room 330. No neighborhood meeting will be held on this matter because of the late notice. Residents may submit their comments in writing to directly to the City or attend the hearing. Full details are available here.

Denise Aldrich
National Night Out is scheduled for Tuesday, August 6

National Night Out is an annual nationwide event that encourages residents to get out in the community, meet neighbors, and partner with police.  Hosting a block party or an event of any kind, large or small, provides a way for people to meet one another and discover how they can keep their neighborhoods crime free and high quality for all who live, work and play there. National Night Out has proven, time and time again, to help people work together to improve the safety of their surroundings.

One local business is making it even easier to host a party on your block: Jason Koenig, owner/operator of The Odd Couple Team at Keller Williams Realty, will provide your block with a box of free grill meats from Von Hanson’s Meats! Register your Neighborhood Night Out event with the City and then contact The Odd Couple Team.

Events can be simple gatherings to large community events. National Night Out has participation across all 50 states. In 2018, St. Paul was ranked second nationally for participation in a city with a population between 100,000-300,000.  The city had over 300 registered parties and is looking forward to even greater participation in 2019! The City encourages ALL SAINT PAUL residents to participate on Tuesday, August 6, 2019 for the 36th Annual National Night Out! Neighborhoods include everyone: homeowners, renters, retail and all businesses are needed to help make our city "the most livable place in America!" 

Check out the City of Saint Paul’s National Night Out page to get participation suggestions and registration information.

Contact the Odd Couple for your free box of grill meats.

Denise Aldrich
Task force seeks feedback from Grand Avenue visitors and area residents

Volunteer-driven effort gathers feedback to guide the creation of recommendations for City

Saint Paul's Grand Avenue Business District is changing, and a new volunteer-driven effort is conducting a study to examine experiences along the avenue. The public is invited to share their everyday experiences of visiting, shopping, and dining on Grand at to help shape recommendations for the city and to assist local associations in community improvement efforts.

The Future is Grand Task Force is a group of business owners and residents from the Summit Hill Association (SHA), Macalester Groveland Community Council (MGCC) and the Grand Avenue Business Association (GABA).

The Task Force was created in March and has been working to identify existing barriers and opportunities for Grand Avenue visitors, residents and businesses. The fourteen-member group will develop recommendations to deliver to the City of Saint Paul to improve access, create vitality and enhance the brand of this successful and historic community corridor.

The Task Force is co-chaired by Sherry Johnson, a resident of Summit Hill and owner of Cultivate Strategy, and Brian Wagner, a resident of Mac-Groveland and realtor at Coldwell Banker Burnet of Crocus Hill. The group of concerned residents and business owners has embraced principles of inclusive participation, asset-based thinking, and creative experimentation that aligns with local values. While the group began meeting to address vacant properties specifically, Task Force members realized they needed to broaden their approach.

Co-Chair Brian Wagner stated, “We know that Grand Avenue has played a vital role in providing experiences as a commercial and residential avenue, enriching the neighborhoods along its corridor.   The Avenue is ever-changing and yet has been an historical gem for the City of Saint Paul.   The changing landscape of commerce and growing need for increased density have created the need to re-examine our collective thoughts and feelings of the Grand Avenue we desire.”

In its outreach efforts so far, the Task Force has received feedback from over 60 businesses, landlords, and property owners along the avenue. It has also researched best practices and innovative approaches in other communities. The group is now collecting community experiences in order to align common values with commercial interests using an innovative approach to community feedback.

“Our work is taking place in two phases,” said Co-Chair Sherry Johnson. “We are currently in the research phase and are now launching a narrative assessment to capture people’s experiences, past and present. We want to understand what attracts people to the avenue. This way, we can advocate for our business community while making sure we stay in line with our community’s values.” Johnson stressed the need to ask for experiences, rather than opinions, as a best practice for uncovering commonly held values.

During phase two, the Task Force will share commercial and community responses with the neighborhood and facilitate innovative placemaking through the SHA, MGCC, and GABA.

The Task Force is accepting experiences through August, and everyone interested in sharing their experiences can visit and share as many experiences as they would like. The assessment takes just 10 minutes, and responses remain anonymous.

Questions for the task force can be addressed to

Contact:  Megan Ryan, 651.245.2954



  • Sherry Johnson

  • Brian Wagner


  • Bridget Ales

  • Abhi Andley

  • Nelson Fox

  • Gary Huffman

  • Amanda Kessel

  • David Kratz

  • Alisa Lein

  • Patricia McMorrow

  • Brad Nolan

  • Scott Rohr

  • Megan  Ryan

  • Deanna Seppanen

  • Martha Sewall

  • John Wolf


  • Monica Haas

  • Hayden Howland

  • Alexa  Golemo

Denise Aldrich
Help Make the 2020 Summit Hill House Tour the Best One Ever!

The bi-annual Summit Hill House Tour is one of St. Paul’s most beloved traditions.  Every two years, St. Paul residents and visitors have the chance to tour homes along and near the city’s historic Summit Avenue.  Whether you like your houses historic or hip, classic or trendy, the Summit Hill House Tour has something for everyone.

The 2020 House Tour has openings for both a chairperson and for volunteers.

The House Tour chairperson works with homeowners, local businesses and members of the Summit Hill Association to plan and prepare the tour.  This is a rare opportunity to take a lead role in a St. Paul institution.  We are looking for an outgoing, energetic and interested individual with experience or interest in event planning.  Apply to be our chairperson for our next House Tour in Fall of 2020.  Help make this tour a grand success!

Interested in behind-the-scenes access to the Summit Hill House Tour? Serve as a volunteer! We need volunteers for a variety of day-of activities, from registration to refreshment sales.  Volunteers get a wide range of benefits, including: front of the line access to each property on the tour, a free ticket to go on the tour before or after your shift, and an invitation to the volunteer-only after party with food and beverages.

For more information about volunteering with or chairing this event, contact the SHA office at or 651.222.1222

Denise Aldrich
Lunds & Byerlys June Update

Lunds & Byerlys Update for Summit Hill Association

June 21, 2019

Following our neighborhood meeting in March and the subsequent purchase of the property at 777 Grand Avenue in April, we continue moving forward on our proposed plans for a vibrant mixed-used development that will include a Lunds & Byerlys, housing and two levels of underground parking so all uses will be parked right on site.

You may have recently seen leasing signs posted on the property’s buildings. We are currently seeking tenants interested in short-term leases as we work through the many different aspects of our development plans. Those plans include everything from site layout and design to the review and approval process. While it’s difficult to say at this point when the project will be completed, we anticipate it taking approximately 18 to 24 months.

We appreciate the significant amount of community support we’ve received for our conceptual plans. We also know there are some who are concerned with our plans to include four stories of housing above a Lunds & Byerlys on the street level. We sincerely appreciate that feedback as well.

Our sincere desire for this development is to respect the historic qualities of the neighborhood while also bringing added vitality to Grand Avenue. Given the economics of this site (i.e. land value, removal of existing buildings, etc.) it will require some additional density to become a viable development and one that can serve this wonderful community for generations to come.

We look forward to sharing more updates with you in the coming months.

—Lunds & Byerlys

Denise Aldrich
Safe Summer Nights at Linwood Rec Center, June 13

How do you spread safety and goodwill throughout the City of Saint Paul? By firing up the grill of course!

Join us on Thursday, June 13, 5:00–7:00pm at Linwood Rec Center for the Safe Summer Nights dinner and fun for the whole family. The Safe Summer Nights program is designed to provide opportunities for police officers to become acquainted with residents of the neighborhoods they serve over a meal rather than during times of trouble. The initiative began in 2014 when Safe Summer Nights partnered with the Saint Paul Police Department and the Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Department to host events in Saint Paul that brought neighborhood families and police officers together in a picnic-type setting. Safe Summer Nights help bridge the gap between police and the people they serve. 

This is a free event and all are welcome.

Activities vary by location, but typically include:
-Bouncy House
-Horse Unit
-Climbing Wall
-Motorcycle Unit
-BearCat Vehicle

Read more about this event at its Facebook page.

Denise Aldrich
Plant Sale May 3 & 4

The SHA Spring Plant Sale is here! We will again be offering high quality plants and gift cards from Gerten's Greenhouses. Sale dates are Friday May 3, 5:00PM to 7:00PM and Saturday May 4, 8:00AM to 2:00PM at the Linwood Recreation Center. Some important information:

  • Individual annual packs will be available on the days of the sale at Linwood Recreation Center. 

  • If you requested to have your pre-ordered plants delivered to your home, note that all deliveries will be on Friday, May 3 between 6:00PM and 8:00PM.

For more information contact Summit Hill Association by phone (651) 222-1222 or by email 

Proceeds from this sale will go to support the ongoing work of the
Summit Hill Association.

Liz Gibba