About the Creative Enterprise Zone

The Creative Enterprise Zone, located mid-city between Saint Paul and Minneapolis, has the goal to be a recognized center of creativity and enterprise, a place where people make a living by their creative capacities.


Why the Creative Enterprise Zone?

The Creative Enterprise Zone is an idea, a place, and people. For the past thirty years, this neighborhood has been home to a wide variety of creative businesses—from artists to architects, entrepreneurs to manufacturers. The new light rail line brings opportunities and challenges. Our name highlights our effort to preserve and promote the area's historic and creative character in the midst of change.

The idea – Keep people who make a living by their creative capacities here.
The place – The area surrounding Raymond and University Avenues in Saint Paul.
The people – Artists, artisans, manufacturers, creative entrepreneurs, and so many more.

Where are we?

From the intersection of Raymond and University Avenues, the Creative Enterprise Zone radiates south to Interstate 94, east to Prior Avenue, north to the railroad tracks by Energy Park Drive, and west to Minneapolis.

Here is the map.

What is the vision?

Be a livable, mixed-use neighborhood, recognized and sustained as a center of enterprise and creativity. Part of this vision is already in place and must be preserved. Other elements need to be fostered.
Our vision is rooted in the idea that creative work is both necessary and satisfying. That an increasing number of people make a living through their creative capacities, enhancing productivity and innovation. And that the Zone will become an even more desirable place to live and work because of our vibrant mix of people and ideas.

What do we do?

The Creative Enterprise Zone is a supportive coalition of organizations, businesses, and individuals working together to accomplish these basic goals:

  • Stabilize conditions in which creative enterprises, industries, artists, non-profits, and residents flourish.
  • Connect creative enterprises, industries, artists, non-profits, and residents.
  • Collaborate, cross-pollinate ideas, and share common interests.
  • Build the physical infrastructure, spaces, and places that support our vision.
  • Promote a distinctive identity that expresses the unique nature of the district.
  • Encourage others to collaborate with us in achieving our goals.

How are we organized?

We are an independent non-profit supervised by a board called the Creative Enterprise Zone Action Committee.  MAP for Nonprofits serves as our fiscal sponsor. We have two part time contractors that make help us implement our vision and goals - an Executive Director and a Social Media consultant.

What is our history?

In 1992, the City of Saint Paul designated the area surrounding the intersection of Raymond and University Avenues as the first Neighborhood Cultural District outside of downtown. Since then, much has changed. The Creative Enterprise Zone grew out of an initiative by the St. Anthony Park Community Council to insure that the area's creative nature remains intact. Explore the Creative Enterprise Zone, in person and online.

If you are interested about the history of the area, please read about the Raymond University Historic District here.

Creative Enterprise Zone in the News:


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