Report: St. Paul received but a temporary boost from RNC


The Republican National Convention, it turns out, didn't pack the economic punch for St. Paul many had hoped it would. Not in the long-term anyway. The Building Owners and Managers conceded as much in a report released yesterday.

From the Strib:

"I think it was valuable to showcase the city," said Patricia Wolf, a St. Paul commercial real estate broker and BOMA board member. But she and other BOMA officials agree that, for the time being, the market collapse that coincided with the convention probably negated any opportunities to increase occupancy. About 51,000 square feet leased short-term by the RNC went back on the market shortly after the convention and has not been re-leased.

In a 2007 report, BOMA expected the four-day gala to inject a long-lasting shot of adrenaline into St. Paul's downtown economy. The seemingly bullet-proof theory--a theory, by the way, commonly espoused to justify extravagent ruling class parties funded on the public's dime--went something like this: delegates visiting our unassuming capitol city 1) attend the RNC with limited expectations, 2) have their expectations totally blown after cavorting and glad-handing with well-connected political/financial dignitaries with nary a protesting malcontent in sight, and 3) jolt from a nap, on the plane ride home, and wonder aloud why they'd never before considered leasing office space in downtown St. Paul and immediately make plans to do just that, thus helping transform the sleepy district into something resembling civilization.



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