St. Anthony Park Pop-Up Shop Begins Final Month

by Kristen Murray, Starling Project
August 2, 2012

This week, the St. Anthony Park Pop-Up Shop begins its final month at 2401 University Ave W. The Pop-Up Shop is a collaboration between the St. Anthony Park Community Council and the Starling Project, an organization that facilitates “meanwhile” uses of vacant storefronts along University Ave during the construction of the Central Corridor LRT line. Since June, the storefront has been available for weekly rentals, following up on a successful art and design pop-up gallery by Art du Nord in April and May.  

Pop-Up Shop tenants to date have included documentary artists from the public art project Irrigate, the circuit-bending duo Beatrix*JAR, 3D reuse artist Jeana Sommers, and the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota.  The remainder of the summer is booked with a 2D gallery with an open studio event, a participatory art project seeking public input, and a faux campaign headquarters that speaks to the history of these spaces in the neighborhood.

This week (Aug 1-5), the Pop-Up Shop hosts exp-AIR-iment:  a pop-up DIY technology lab.  Visitors can take a look at a 3D printer being built out of an old projector, learn the basics of aerial photography, and check out a growing gallery of aerial images of Minneapolis and St. Paul.  exp-AIR-iment welcomes all ages, and is open Wednesday-Friday, 3 p.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, 12-6 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m., with Aerial Photography Basics workshops on Thursday and Saturday.

Details for exp-AIR-iment and other Pop-Up Shop tenants and events are available at

Developing Tools for Temporary Rentals
The Pop-Up Shop is not only an effort to make a vacant storefront available to interested parties this summer, but also a way to develop a set of tools that can facilitate other short-term leases along University Avenue.  Starling and Saint Anthony Park Community Council received support from the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) to develop a toolkit that documents and shares tools for short-term rentals (including lease templates, information about insurance and permits, and communications tools).  Starling plans to share this toolkit and lessons learned at a free workshop this fall.  The tools developed and rent paid on the Pop-Up Shop will support additional, complementary interventions on University Avenue in the coming year.

Vacant Storefronts are Opportunities for Art and Business
Since launching in December, Starling has facilitated several other matches, including the Art du Nord pop-up gallery and a site-specific performance by Skewed Visions in the vacant warehouse space formerly occupied by Spiros Mediterranean Market (2264 University Ave).  It has been primarily artists who have made use of short-term rentals, but Starling and other local community organizations are beginning to collaborate to investigate ways that vacant storefronts can also be incubators for local entrepreneurs.  

Starling is launching a new website this week featuring an expanded roster of properties on University Avenue in Saint Paul whose owners are interested in leasing to short-term (and, of course, long-term) tenants.  Local resources for artists and entrepreneurs are also listed, as well as short-term rental and pop-up projects in other cities around the U.S.  Starling is continuing to add participating properties along the Avenue, along with details for tenant rentals and events, so visitors are encouraged to check back regularly at

For more information about Starling, please contact:
 Ben Shardlow — Property Coordinator —, (612) 702-8056
Beth Evanson — Client Coordinator —, (507) 450-5002
Kristen Murray — Resource Coordinator –, (651) 271-0065

For more information about the Saint Anthony Park Community Council, please contact:
 Amy Sparks — Executive Director —, (651) 649-5992