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St. Paul officials: Building permits up because of Central Corridor light-rail

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St. Paul officials say the Central Corridor light-rail transit line going up in mid-2014 is already inspiring economic development, the Pioneer Press reports.

According to the city, building permits along the corridor in 2013 reflect $143 million in construction activity -- a five-year high when compared to prerecession levels.

"St. Paul's vitality is becoming brighter and brighter as the Green Line comes even closer to opening," St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said in statement.

The Green Line consists of an 11-mile stretch from downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul. On the light-rail line is a series of commercial districts, including the Stadium Village, the Midway and Historic Rondo.

The Metropolitan Council says 100 construction projects totaling $1.7 billion in private investments are underway or have already been completed along the entire stretch of the Green Line, the Pioneer Press reports.

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