All the buzz in the Creative Enterprise Zone
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In this issue:

  • New developments draw exciting additions to the Zone
  • Looking for space? Look here!
  • CEZ launches as independent org
  • In the Zone: Wild River Academy
  • New opportunities to get involved
  • Urban Boatbuilders' Grand Opening
  • Help curate the "Smallest Museum in St. Paul"
  • New programs at Chanson Voice and Music Academy

Silgan, Fisher Nut developments draw exciting new additions to the Zone

Artist designed mini golf, brewery among early new tenants at Silgan Building on Prior Ave.

Two exciting new developments are underway in the Creative Enterprise Zone. California-based Orton Development is bringing its specialty in rehabilitating and repositioning large-scale and historic properties to bear on the old Silgan Canning factory at 755 Prior Avenue and the old Fisher Nut plant at 2327 Wycliff Street.
Both properties, according to Project Manager Rod Musson, will be mixed-use developments with a wide range of space sizes and price ranges available. The buildings, he says, are being designed with “creative and artisan-type tenants” in mind.
Among the exciting early tenants at the 480,000 square foot Silgan complex are artist-designed mini-golf group, Can Can Wonderland (formerly Blue Ox Mini Golf), and the neighborhood’s newest brewery, Black Stack Brewing Co. Can Can Wonderland recently put out a call for artists to help design the 18-hole mini golf course in a 19,000 square foot space at the Silgan building.
Yet another brewery also plans to open a taproom and brewing operation on a different level of the building. Musson says they plan to paint the tower outside the building black for the forthcoming Black Stack Brewing Co. 
If you’re interested in leasing space in the Silgan Building, contact Tom Lelich at or 952-924-4675.
Orton Development is also redeveloping the old Fisher Nut factory in the Creative Enterprise Zone at 2327 Wycliff Street. About 15 tenants have already signed leases at the 290,000 square foot building. Like the Silgan building, there is a wide range of space sizes and price ranges available.
The fifth floor is an especially appealing space, Musson says, with windows that run the perimeter of the building, featuring a scenic view of Downtown Minneapolis. Several floors in the building are already set-up for food processing, and Musson says they are looking hard for a tenant that could utilize the food storage, freezer and processing capacity. 

With ample docking sites available at the building, there is also room and amenities to accommodate some light manufacturing and industry that could take advantage of the close proximity to trucking and shipping routes, as well. There is also lots of storage space and already built-out office space that is ready to go, Musson says.
Early tenants at the Fisher Nut building include Kooler Sounds, which leases recording studios and music rehearsal space, and a historic window restoration business.
If you’re interested in leasing space at the Fisher Nut building, you can contact Matt Angleson of Northco Real Estate at 612-978-5180 or

CEZ Launches as Independent Organization in 2015

We are thrilled to announce that the Creative Enterprise Zone is launching as an independent organization in 2015. Until now, the Creative Enterprise Zone Action Committee (CEZAC) has operated as a program of the St. Anthony Park Community Council. The Council has been a terrific home for CEZAC to establish itself and build the capacity to succeed.
2014 was a momentous year for the Creative Enterprise Zone. The arrival of the Green Line brought with it excitement and energy that continues to draw new businesses, developments and opportunities for the entrepreneurs, artists, nonprofits and makers of all types that underpin the success and vitality of this area.
New large-scale creative developments like First and First’s Vandalia Tower and the Silgan and Fisher Nut buildings are creating new space for creativity to thrive, and exciting new businesses and organizations are now opening their doors in the Zone. We’ve also seen one of the most recent indicators of a thriving urban environment—a booming brewery scene. More people than ever are choosing to “Make It Here.”
As interest in the Zone continues to grow, the work of fostering the conditions in which creative enterprises flourish is more important than ever. As a distinct organization with its own governing board, CEZAC will be will be better able to build our capacity, clarify our identity, and continue to make the Zone a recognized destination for creativity and enterprise.
We will be focusing our work in 2015 on bringing creative enterprises together to create relationships that support their economic viability. We will be hosting listening sessions, and ramping up efforts around joint communications and marketing to promote the artistic, cultural and commercial assets here. We will continue to serve as ambassadors for the area, connecting people to resources and each other, and will keep advocating for spaces and places that support creative enterprises.
As an independent organization, your continued support and contributions are more important than ever. The Creative Enterprise Zone is a place, an idea and an ambition, but most importantly, it is the people that choose to live, work and create here. Contact for more information or to get involved in the Creative Enterprise Zone effort.

Looking for Space in the Zone?

Here are some current and new opportunities

Are you looking for a new space or know someone who is? Interest in the Creative Enterprise Zone is rising, but a wide-range of spaces are available to suit a variety of uses and budgets—and almost all are close to one of our many new breweries, which means you’ll never be far from an after work happy hour. Here are some of the newer spaces with current openings. Do you have space you are looking to share or lease? Let us know and we’ll help connect you to some terrific tenants.

Silgan Building

755 Prior Ave
Tom Lelich at or (952)924-4675.

This 480,000 square foot space is getting a major facelift and is likely to join the ranks of some of the most exciting new creative developments in the Twin Cities. The former canning factory is being redeveloped into a large-scale mixed-use creative complex. A wide-range of spaces are currently for lease, from 3,000-50,000 square feet at both affordable and market rates. Whether you need a rugged workshop or studio, or high-end office space, you’ll likely find what you’re looking for at the Silgan building. Artist-designed mini golf organization, Can Can Wonderland, recently announced they will be opening an 18-hole mini golf course in the building, and new brewery Black Stack Brewing Co. is also slated to open in the building later this year. If those sound like appealing new neighbors, check out what else the Silgan Building has available. 


Fisher Nut Building

2327 Wycliff Street
Matt Angleson at or (612)978-5180


Located in the heart of the Creative Enterprise Zone industrial area, this 290,000 square foot development project is nearing completion and has a wide array of spaces available. Several floors are already outfitted with cold storage and other food processing amenities, and an abundance of docks and close proximity to shipping routes makes it an ideal location for light industrial or manufacturing uses. The top floor features large windows that run the perimeter of the building and feature a great view of the Minneapolis skyline. Not to mention, this property is located mere steps from Urban Growler and Bang Brewing, which can only be a very good thing.

Vandalia Tower

550 Vandalia Street
Contact: or (612)334-9434


This monumental development project from renowned creative real estate company First & First is generating lots of buzz in the Creative Enterprise Zone and across the Twin Cities. The turn-of-the-century seven-structure complex sits on 5.5 acres near major transit routes including the Green Line on University Avenue and I-94. There is a wide array of spaces available with a focus on creative uses and tenants. Find yourself surrounded by creativity with woodworking shops, photography studios, design firms, nonprofits, a soon-to-open brewery and much more. Sleek and innovative common spaces with both unfinished workspaces and finished office spaces make this one of the most enticing and innovative new developments in the Twin Cities.

Alchemy Architects

856 Raymond Avenue
Geoffrey Warner at or (612)280-1223

Alchemy is an architecture office that has up to four 8’x8’ workstations available for shared use inside a larger 1,700 square foot office. Enjoy access to a shared kitchen, storage room and closed and open conference rooms, plus a loading dock with glass doors that let in lots of natural light. Friday grill-outs are a regular occurrence during the warmer months. There is a fax machine and 11X17 color laser printer that can be shared. Workstations with taxes and utilities would be about $200/month. Terms are flexible.


Update Company

Various locations in the Zone
Sandy Jacobs at or (651)641-0208

Update Company is a second-generation family business that has been renovating and leasing a wide-range of spaces in the Zone for more than 30 years. With suites that range from single offices to 10,000 square feet, including warehouse and industrial spaces, Update Company has long been a leader in the community and takes a personal interest in their tenants. With eight primary properties in the Zone, Update Company can help you find a space to suit nearly any need or budget. 

Lydia’s Place

2300 Myrtle Ave. Suite 158
Scott Simmons at or (612)859-1134

If you’re looking for a more casual workspace arrangement, you might consider co-working at Lydia’s place. Started by ELCA minister Scott Simmons, Lydia’s place offers a unique blend of work and faith. A freelance copywriter by trade, Simmons recognizes the challenges and isolation independent professionals can face. He decided to start Lydia’s Place as a co-working space where professionals could come together to connect through work and spirituality alike. 

Look for other spaces for rent in the Zone on our website.  

In the Zone: Wild River Academy Connects Education and Waterways

The tools and means by which non-profits seek to positively impact the world are many and varied. Some of the most successful organizations often rely on a degree of creativity to fulfill their missions. For Wild River Academy, a new organization based in the Creative Enterprise Zone, a couple canoes, some paddles and a river are all that was needed to launch an innovative model of watershed education that builds awareness and environmental stewardship in a single stroke.
Wild River Academy is dedicated to engaging communities in watershed education through outdoor recreation. Every year they lead educational canoe trips for schools and organizations around the country, turning the nation's waterways into an outdoor experiential classroom. Trip participants stop along the route to interact and learn from environmental organizations, farmers, community members and naturalists.
The experience not only awakens the adventurous spirit of new and old outdoors enthusiasts while enhancing their outdoor skills, it exposes participants to the social and natural environment in their watershed, “encouraging a sense of peace and place,” says Natalie Warren, who started Wild River Academy with longtime friend and expedition partner Ann Raiho.
In the final months of their senior year at St. Olaf College in 2011, while their classmates scrambled to find gainful employment or otherwise transition into the post-graduation world, Warren and Raiho were busy planning an epic canoe excursion. They would be the first women to paddle the 2,000 miles from the Twin Cities to Hudson Bay, recreating Eric Severeid’s historic route as chronicled in his book “Canoeing with the Cree.” 

Join our work in the Creative Enterprise Zone!

New opportunities to get involved in 2015

As part of our ongoing efforts to foster the conditions in which creativity and enterprise thrive, we are looking for new people to join our work. Momentum continues to build around the Creative Enterprise Zone and we are asking for your support and input to help this area continue to thrive.
In addition to adding new members to the Creative Enterprise Zone Action Committee (CEZAC), we will be forming three working groups in 2015, including marketing and communications, public art and events. The obligations and time commitment would be minimal, but the opportunity to benefit our community will be great. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact

Working Groups:



From Give & Takes, to mixers, celebrations and more, events have played an integral role in convening the people, energy and creativity that define the Creative Enterprise Zone. We’re looking to host events that connect, energize and celebrate the makers, places, and projects that make this area the creative destination it has become. If event planning and production is your thing, and you enjoy dreaming up creative ways to bring people together, this is the group for you. Contact to get involved.

Communications and Marketing

When people hear, “Creative Enterprise Zone,” do they know what it is? What do they know about it? These are important questions to the continued success of the Creative Enterprise Zone. That’s why we are looking to expand our communications and marketing efforts in 2015. Our name and brand recognition grew by leaps and bounds in 2014, but we still have a long ways to go. The Communications and Marketing working group will focus on telling the story of the Creative Enterprise Zone and the makers and entrepreneurs that thrive here to a broad audience. They will help develop new promotional material, connect our writer to compelling stories in the Zone and otherwise focus on developing our brand and raising awareness about all the excitement that’s percolating in the Zone. Contact Communications Coordinator Kyle Mianulli at to get involved.

Public Art

How do you know you’re in the Creative Enterprise Zone? With the much of the creative work and energy in the Zone happening out of sight from the casual passerby, outwardly visible signs of the creative energy that abounds in the Zone is vital to marking this area as a recognized destination of creativity and enterprise. We’re looking to continue the success of the CEZ’s first major public art project in 2014, when an image from photographer Alec Soth adorned a billboard at the intersection of University and Vandalia. We’re looking for new ideas and projects that will leave no doubt to all who encounter it, that this is a place where creativity abounds. Projects might include pop-up art and culture parks, interactive displays, a colorful bench, or something entirely new and unexpected. Contact to get involved. 

Come Celebrate Urban Boatbuilders’ New Workshop in the Creative Enterprise Zone


February 8th, 1-4 P.M.
2288 University Avenue West, Saint Paul

Urban Boatbuilders has relocated to a beautiful new workshop space in the Creative Enterprise Zone at 2288 University Ave W. Come tour the new facilities, meet the team and apprentices, and learn what goes into building one of the organization’s signature handmade canoes.
Founded in 1995 by a group of educators, boat building enthusiasts and community leaders, Urban Boatbuilders was established on the premise that wooden boat building by small groups of at-risk teens is an effective tool for youth development. Urban Boatbuilders has completed more than 200 boats while working with more than 3,000 youth in sixty agencies, juvenile corrections programs and schools.
With new partnerships and more youth apprentices, Urban Boatbuilders has relocated from it’s previous Midway location. Come congratulate them on all their success and celebrate the grand opening of the new shop. We are so happy this exceptional organization is choosing to "Make It Here."


Help urate the “Smallest Museum in St. Paul” at WORKHORSE COFFEE BAR

As forthcoming WORKHORSE COFFEE BAR moves closer to opening at 2399 University Avenue, they are inviting area artists, historians and makers of all disciplines to curate the “Smallest Museum in Saint Paul” for one-month increments between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016.
Owners Shannon Forney and Ty Barnett won a Knight Arts Challenge Grant to create a streetscape gallery in a vintage fire hose cabinet tucked into the façade of their building to the right of the coffee shop’s front door. They have transformed the cabinet into a 2’x3’ micro-museum, and are now looking for your help to curate it.
Check out their website for details and to submit a proposal. Twelve artist-curators will be selected from submissions through a panel review process. All proposals are due by March 30 and selected applicants will be notified of panel decisions no later than May 20, 2015.
Learn more and submit your proposal for the “Smallest Museum in St. Paul” here.


New young women’s choir offers reduced tuition at Chanson Voice and Music Academy

A new choir program at Chanson Voice and Music Academy is offering young women in the Twin Cities a chance to experience the power of singing as part of a choral group. Called “An Homage to Home,” the choir will focus on music from Minnesota women composers. Thanks to a Community Arts grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, organizers are able to offer tuition on a sliding scale basis and seek to attract high school-aged women from a variety of backgrounds whose families might not otherwise be able to prioritize this type of programming, according to voice instructor and program coordinator Anika Kildegaard. The group will rehears for 16 weeks and give three free public performances at venues around town like the MLK/Hallie Q Brown Center, the Hmong Cultural Center and the Landmark Center.
To learn more or sign up contact Anika Kildegaard at or 320-349-0006.

Lyrebird Youth Choir Returns With Tunes to Groove to

Get out your dancing shoes! For the spring 2015 session, the Lyrebird Youth Choir will be returning to prepare a concert of dancing music from around the world. The first iteration of the Lyrebird Youth Choir launched with a successful program last fall titled “Back in Time along the Green Line,” with a traveling performance of some classics and oldies from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. This season, the Lyrebird Youth Choir repertoire will include songs you can move to, from waltzes to salsas to African dances and more, exposing young singers and their audience to rhythms and traditions from a variety of cultures. Mark your calendars for an end-of-semester concert May 17th. Visit their website to learn more and register. Classes have already begun, so don’t delay!

Get Connected!


What is the Creative Enterprise Zone?

The Creative Enterprise Zone, located mid-city between St. Paul and Minneapolis, has the goal to be recognized as a center of creativity and enterprise, a place where many people make a living by their creative capacities.
Showcasing a mixture of urban-industrial and innovative enterprises, the Creative Enterprise Zone promises to be a fertile laboratory of entrepreneurship, business incubation, artistic endeavor and eclectic urban design. Located along the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line at the hub of the Raymond Station area, this dynamic nucleus of artisans and industry provides a unique sense of place that captures the imagination.

Regionally significant due to the central location and ease of access, the community offers a symbiotic mix of live and work opportunities. Cultivation of diverse, affordable spaces for entrepreneurial businesses, artisans and residents, and support systems for a tightly interconnected creative community, are high priorities.
Copyright © 2015 Creative Enterprise Zone, All rights reserved.

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