ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- For the second year in a row, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis devoted a significant amount of time during his State of City Address to talking about downtown.

He says there are plans in motion to bring a replica of a space shuttle to a new home at the current Lady Slipper parking lot.

Hopefully, we're going to have a Space Shuttle.  I wasn't supposed to announce that but the Governor said something.  Felicity-John Pederson owns a Space Shuttle, how many people do you know that own a Space Shuttle?  He's going to bring it to St. Cloud to get it downtown close to the Children's Museum.  What an attraction.

 

Currently, the replica is located near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  Pederson estimates that the move would cost about a million dollars and could potentially take place before the end of this year.

Kleis says he also wants to commission some artwork for the 9th Avenue bridge under Highway 23 near Lake George.

It will draw you in to Lake George.  Similar to what we did at the River's Edge, you see the river and then what is underneath the river.  This would be great to see what's in the lake, the wildlife, and the nature, and then a little bit of history of the lake.

Kleis says in just the past 12 months over 27 businesses have either opened or expanded in downtown St. Cloud.

He says a recent survey suggests 70 percent of millennials want to live in an urban walkable community, but less than one percent of central Minnesota currently offers that. He's continuing to push for the creation of 1,000 new housing units downtown.

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St. Cloud area lawmakers have also asked for $100 million in state bonding money to help with improvements to downtown.

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