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St. Paul's Midway Businesses Still In Flux One Year After Looting, Fires

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- It's been one year since riots, looting and fire damaged hundreds of Twin Cities businesses.

One of the hardest hit areas was the Midway neighborhood in St. Paul, where Jim Stage owns Lloyd's Pharmacy on Snelling Avenue.

"If people drive by and they're not here, I understand what you might see but I think there is resolve happening in the background," Stage said.

He now is feeling some hope after a lot of stress. After looting broke out nearby, he closed his shop early on May 28, 2020.

"I didn't realize it was going to be as bad as it was. I thought it was going to be back the next day and just go to work but there was no building the next day on the 29th, it was gone," he said.

The pharmacy was looted and burned, and the computer servers were ruined, with all their patients' medicine needs.

"It just was an emergency situation and that's how we treated it, because it truly was," he said.

Burned Out St. Paul Midway Foot Locker, 1 Year After Riots
(credit: CBS)

They scrambled to figure out how to get customers meds. They've been working in a smaller building nearby while they look forward and rebuild.

"This whole building is new from the bottom up," Stage said.

He's rebuilding, but some have moved, while others are awaiting demolition, says Chad Kulas, executive director of the Midway Chamber of Commerce.

"There's still a few buildings that they are trying to figure out what to do, there are some that are gonna be coming down still," Kulas said.

He says there's word that a condemned shopping center could be made into a development that would benefit their neighbors at Allianz Field. It could be turned into a multi-use property with housing and restaurants.

In the meantime, the chamber of commerce has given out funding in hopes the neighborhood known for its food and culture will rise again.

"Come by, see what's there, they are still there, they are surviving and help make them thrive," Kulas said.

He says even though legislation was not passed to support the businesses, the chamber of commerce is hoping they could get some money from the state budget during the special session.

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