ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – St. Paul is officially a friendlier city thanks to a new downtown hospitality program launched Monday.

From the way it looks to the way it sounds, the city is getting a hospitality renovation.

It’s the home of the Capitol, the Cathedral and the Saints. As of Monday, it’s the home of the St. Paul Street team.

J.B. is the team’s captain. After five years working hospitality in Minneapolis, he’s launching the new team.

“I think the program presents a real positive for people who just don’t know where to go. You can see colors, go up to the person and ask – you don’t feel like you’re asking a stranger, I guess,” J.B. said.

J.B. is like a friendly neighbor, one of a new team of blue coat hospitality and cleanliness ambassadors launched by the Downtown Alliance.

“So by making it safer and cleaner, it’s our goal that we are gonna see more employers in downtown, we’re gonna access more residents, more visitors and just increase the density, the vitality of downtown St. Paul,” said Joe Spencer, president of the St. Paul Downtown Alliance.

The alliance is also employing a team of musicians that quickly caught the attention of Lee Homstad, who was passing by.

“I think it looks very, very inviting and plan to come here on the noon hour regularly,” Homstad said.

It’s not just a fest for the ears. Artists are turning cans that hold trash into treasures with handmade mosaic art, making the whole area nicer in more ways than one. The music will be offered during lunch Monday, Tuesday and in the evening on Wednesday and Thursday, but those greeters will be out five days a week.

Organizers say they were inspired by the ambassadors in downtown Minneapolis. The St. Paul greeters will be in Rice Park, Landmark Plaza, Hamm Plaza and Central Station.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

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