Capital City Partnership Reorganizes Biz Efforts

The St. Paul non-profit will focus on bringing new business and jobs to the city.

Capital City Partnership, a non-profit organization that promotes programs to enhance downtown St. Paul's business development, announced Tuesday that it will boost its economic development activities.

Beginning January, the organization will evolve to work extensively on bringing new businesses to St. Paul and retaining existing businesses.

Since its inception in 1996, the Capital City Partnership has focused on a city building process in downtown St. Paul to increase the economic vitality of the area. According to statement released Tuesday, the partnership has met its initial objectives, and will now become part of the new Minneapolis St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership to market the city to businesses.

Capital City Partnership will help create jobs by promoting the expansion of existing St. Paul businesses, presenting St. Paul as an attractive option for companies contemplating a move to the region, recruiting new companies from outside of Minnesota, and promoting the growth of new start-up companies in St. Paul.

“Fifteen years ago, the power of the Capital City Partnership led transformative change in St. Paul,” Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of New York-based The Travelers Companies, Inc., and chair of the Capital City Partnership, said in a statement “Today, the Capital City Partnership is evolving to meet the new economic development needs of the city and the region.”

The partnership consists of over 50 of the Twin Cities' largest corporations. Its board of directors includes Mary Brainerd, president and CEO of HealthPartners; Lynn Casey, chair and CEO of Padilla Speer Beardsley; Pat Donovan, president and CEO of Bremer Financial Corporation; Richard Kelly, chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy; Gregg Steinhafel, president and CEO of Target Corporation; Guy Gilmore, publisher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press; and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

The Capital City Partnership has facilitated the relocation of companies such as Gander Mountain and Lawson Software to downtown St. Paul. The organization was also behind the opening of popular restaurants-Barrio and the Bulldog-in the lowertown neighborhood. It also previously owned and ran the Taste of Minnesota festival for 12 years before selling it in 2009.