River Corridor Coalition dedicated to revitalizing of Saint Louis River corridor

By KBJR News 1

June 29, 2014 Updated Jun 29, 2014 at 10:47 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A new community coalition launched Sunday in Duluth is dedicated to focusing on development in the western riverfront.

Members of the River Corridor Coalition are excited to have a group dedicated to supporting Duluth Mayor Don Ness' grand vision for the revitalization of the Saint Louis River Corridor.

"The neighborhood groups have been working independently for years and I think it's going to be a great opportunity for us to team together and pool our resources, especially as small business owners to work on developing the businesses that exist in our neighborhood," said coalition member Garner Moffat.

"It's a group that is, ya know, thrilled to have the attention of generally a after thought with the city when it comes to policies and attention," said Noah Hobbs, president of the coalition.

The coalition, along with Mayor Ness, hope to make improvements to the area through a half percent tourism tax increase.

"The zoo is certainly a focus, that has a ton of potential. Ya know, fixing up Wade Stadium, so it's about fixing up our current amenities that we have but then the potential for the unforeseen amenities that could come out of this that could really enhance this part of the city," said Hobbs.

The River Corridor Coalition says it's their mission to generate and facilitate conversation to monitor and advance positive development of the corridor communities with the overall goal of benefiting Duluth as a whole.

"Studies in the national level have shown that small businesses produce more jobs and do a better job of circulating dollars within the local economy, so it's essential that we continue to boost our local businesses and help them develop to be everything that they can be," said Moffat.

The grand plan to improve the area includes renovations at Wade Stadium, Spirit Mountain, and throughout West Duluth neighborhoods and trail systems.

"It's a group that's, ya know, we can have this and do it the right way. Let's do it, ya know, a way that works for all the community for 20-50 years, not just the next 4-10 years," said Hobbs.

This wide-scale community support is what officials say is pushing this vision forward.

Elsa Robins