In the 1970s, residents who lived on the East Side of St. Paul saw jobs disappear as 3M, Whirlpool and Hamm’s Brewery closed, forcing many residents out of the neighborhood. Aging homes fell into disrepair and small businesses failed. People who were committed to the area bonded together in 1979 to form East Side Neighborhood Development Company (ESNDC) to address the downward turn in their once vibrant community.
Since that time, the role of ESNDC has evolved over the years. The organization has operated as a real estate broker, a housing developer, a landlord and a commercial developer.
ESNDC has focused on creating a vibrant “Mainstreet” small business district on Payne Avenue surrounded by healthy families and affordable housing where people can work, live and play.
Our current strategic priorities:
We continue to focus on revitalizing Payne Avenue, but also work on Arcade Street, Rice Street, and in the District Del Sol. We support commercial building improvement projects, provide leadership for the Payne Avenue Business Association, sponsor community clean-ups and events, and work to attract larger redevelopments like multi-family housing and multi-use development. ESNDC is currently working on a small home cluster development and with the Minnesota Biking Center to move the national Velodrome and BMX course to the East Side.
On the housing front, ESNDC works closely with Ramsey County Health rehabbing homes where children have been tested positive for lead poisoning and are in the beginning stages of organizing a statewide coalition to fully fund lead mitigation. Lead poisoning has metastasized into a small number of poor urban and rural communities, where kids are testing at rates higher than Flint, of which the East Side is six out of roughly 40 child lead poisoning hotspot census tracts in Minnesota. The poisoning generally comes from old homes in substandard shape, so ESNDC is attempting to fix this.
In 2019, ESNDC will finish a trilogy of community-based studies with the U of M’s Center for Urban and Rural Affairs (CURA) and Macalester College looking at how the City of St. Paul has allocated major funding resources to the East Side for multi-family housing, City-owned facilities and its use of Tax Increment Financing.
Annual Budget: $1.5 million – Federal or State Contracts, Foundations, Earned Income
East Side Neighborhood Development Company is seeking board members with skills in the following areas:
- Financial Management
- Marketing & Communications
Since we have crossed the bridge from housing into public health, it would be helpful to have someone with a public health background. 2019 is ESNDC’s 40th anniversary and there will be a celebration! Additionally, 2020 is a strategic planning year for the board.
- Number of members currently: 9
- Meeting time and frequency: 5 meetings annually
- Meeting location: Saint Paul
- Time Expectation: Up to 5 hours/month
- Financial Contribution Required: No
- Service on Committee Required: No
- Length of Term: 3 Years
- Renewable: Yes
- Does nonprofit carry liability insurance? Yes