Downtown – Wabasha bike way

You can tell when someone isn’t from around here by the way they pronounce “Wabasha”. The Capital City Bikeway (CCB) is complete along Wabasha street through downtown. Another beautiful bikeway. I don’t often ride in the winter but will try out the bikeway as soon as the weather allows.

Wabasha street facing North
Wabasha street at 5th and facing North
Wabasha street at 6th looking south
Wabasha street at 6th looking south
Wabasha street at 5th looking North
Wabasha street at 5th looking North

CCB Along Robert street, downtown St. Paul


Your downtown condo will sell

Things are a little slower in downtown St. Paul than they are in the rest of the city:

Median days on market in St. Paul = 35 Average days on market = 38

Downtown St. Paul condos:

Median days on market = 59 average days on market = 82

There is a 4.2-month supply of downtown condos vs. a 1.3-month supply of homes for sale in St. Paul.

There is a 2.6-month supply of condos on the market in all of St. Paul and they sell in about 44 days.

Downtown St. Paul is still experiencing a seller’s market. Overall the downtown market tends to be more stable and it changes more slowly.

There is more housing than ever downtown and more than 10,000 residents. There are fewer businesses. I don’t have any number but I can see the vacant storefronts as I walk through the skyway.

The popcorn wagon is vacant and for sale. I am tempted. I would move it down to the river or maybe it could go near one of the many microbreweries in my neighborhood and I could sell popcorn.


popcorn wagon
Popcorn wagon for sale

This just in from the National Association of Realtors for July: “Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 500,000 units in July, down 9.1% from June and down 29.6% from one year ago” “The median existing condo price was $345,000 in July, an annual increase of 9.9%.” Single Family homes were up 10.6% for the same period.

Housing opportunities in downtown St. Paul

I don’t believe the pandemic has ended but many people do and that has been good for downtown St. Paul which was a ghost town during the summer of 2020.

There are or were 55K downtown workers. Many are back downtown working again which means there are people out on the streets and in the skyways and restaurants and coffee shops are open too.

There are concerts again and Minnesota Wild games and Baseball too. There are plays at the Ordway and events at the Union Depot. The Saint Paul Farmer’s market is open every weekend.

More than 10,000 people live downtown too. There are definitely opportunities for home ownership downtown and this might be a better time to buy as prices have leveled off and are likely to start rising again.

Right now there 61 condos on the market downtown starting at 105K and going up to 1.6 million.

Downtown is best explored on foot either outside or through the skyways. St. Paul’s skyway system links 47 city blocks and covers five miles, making it one of the largest systems in the world, which makes downtown the most walkable neighborhood in St. Paul.


Downtown St. Paul condo sales 2021

When I mention downtown it is assumed that I mean downtown Minneapolis and sometimes I do but today I am doing a deep dive into downtown St. Paul housing. There is more housing than ever in downtown St. Paul.  The housing units that are individually owned are condos. There are also several apartment buildings including some luxury housing.

There are about 7500 people living downtown. The population has grown at the same time there is less retail and more vacant office space than ever. Downtown used to be kind of quiet at night and busy during the day now we are seeing the opposite because there are more people living downtown and there are more restaurants and bars, a ballpark and the farmer’s market too.  Let’s not forget the Ordway, Union Depot, and CandyLand. The children’s Museum and the Minnesota Science Museum are down there too.

In 2021 185 condo units were sold. The average list price was $234, 564 and the average sale price was $229,583. There is a 4.5 month supply of condos for sale which means it is a seller’s market but in the rest of the city, there is a 1.3 month supply of houses for sale which is an even stronger seller’s market.

Downtown condos were on the market for an average of almost 74 days vs. the almost 23 days for housing in the rest of the city.

Currently, prices in downtown St. Paul start at less than 100,000 for a very small condo and they go up into the millions.

the source in rice park
The source all dressed up for the Rice park grand opening

A steamy wintery downtown

Steam from district heating – the sidewalk along Kellogg Blvd. in front of the Minnesota Science Museum 

We can always see the plume of steam from the district energy plant but in the winter it is more pronounced. The colder it gets the denser the plume. Sometimes it hides the library or the heating plant itself.  District energy provides the hot water that heats much of downtown St. Paul. It is a biomass plant. Sometimes the air around it smells vaguely like cedar.

According to the calendar, we have more than a week of fall left but it definitely looks and feels like winter.

Circles of doves and light in front of the court house.

Circles of doves and light


Judge Larry Cohen served as a mayor of St. Paul, a Ramsey County commissioner, and chief judge of the 2nd Judicial District. The sculptures are called “Circles of Doves and Light” and there is a seating area and some plaques about Larry Cohen. The Larry Cohen recognition project was Designed by artist Marjorie Pitz and is on the plaza in front of the Ramsey County Courthouse on Kellogg Blvd.

Cohen also organized the first Hmong interpreters in the Ramsey County courts, advocated for the creation of the city’s district council system, and, in the 1970s. Cohen died in 2016 at the age of 83.

There is a lot going on with the sculptures and the new seating. I took about a zillion pictures.

Circles of Doves and Light in front of the Ramsey County court house
Sculpture _  Circles of Doves and light – Ramsey county courthouse seating area