Mixed-retail development could replace Dixie's in St. Paul

- Dixie’s on Grand in St. Paul has been a staple restaurant in the community for years, but major changes could be on the way.

The building that houses Dixie’s on Grand, Emmett’s Public House and Saji-Ya could become the site of new housing and parking.

Saint Paul City Council woman Rebecca Noecker says that she’s encouraged the owner of the property to collaborate with residents in the community before moving forward with any changes. 

“The owner and developer really want to make sure that they’re talking to the neighborhood and understanding what the neighborhood needs and interests are before they finalize a plan,” said Noecker.

The plan could include building housing on top of the existing structure. While at this point everything is preliminary, for some of those who live in the area change may not come easy.
 
“It takes us all awhile to adjust to new and changes,” said Vicki Henry, a resident.

“I’m not interested in anything more than three stories on Grand Avenue,” said Lee English, a resident in the neighborhood for the past 40 years.

English says that he likes the urban feel of the community and worries that with a new construction project, the neighborhood may lose some of its charm. 

“Whether we need more condos in here, well I guess if they sell, they can build them, but just don’t build them that tall,” said English.

Councilwoman Noecker says that collaboration will be key moving forward.

“I think the fact that this an owner who has long ties in the neighborhood owns Dixie’s and is continuing to own it and to stay rooted in the neighborhood really shows that this deal has a better prospect for success,” said Noecker.

Residents will be able to offer their input on the proposed project on the evening of January 23 at Dixie’s.

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