Lowertown is a pretty cool place, but if all goes as planned, it’s going to be a destination.

Steve Berg at MinnPost wrote a great piece about the efforts to breath a little life into Lowertown and downtown St Paul in general.

Mayor Coleman has announced a Rebuild St Paul initiative that will put $15 million in city money plus more in private investments towards some pretty rad projects such as a sorely needed grocery store in the form of a Lunds at 10th and Robert. The Lofts at Farmers Market will get another chance, adding 56 rental units and 2,400 square feet of retail space.

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In addition to the already awesome parts of Lowertown like the gorgeous Mears Park (free live music on Thursdays all througout the summer), Barrio and the Farmer’s Market, the streets are under construction for the addition of the Central Corridor, and there’s talk about extending the Greenway into St Paul. You should go read the vision and sign on in support, even if you don’t live in St Paul or bike, because it’ll mean fewer cars on the roads when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere.

And if all that’s not cool enough, Henry Chan, the chef and owner of Giapponese Restaurant in Woodbury is working with Dave Brooks, the owner of the building at 6th and Wall parking garage/office building, you know the one that doesn’t look like it should be a parking garage, to set up a non-profit restaurant on its rooftop. It’s still unnamed but will be Asian themed, have three sushi bars and a tempura bar. I don’t know about you but¬†this makes me friggin giddy. Expected to open in June of 2011.

Nearby, there is a big “Coming Soon” painted on the windows of the first floor retail space of the O’Connor Building for a spot called “Vines and Steins”¬†that sounds right up my alley,¬†but I haven’t been able to find much about that other than it’s been threatening to open for a long time. If you know anything about that space, fill us in.