CLUES expansion to start this month, will wrap up in the spring

courtesy of CLUES • Renderings of Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio’s planned headquarters expansion, facing west, shows what the roughly 19,000-square-foot expansion will look like along East Seventh Street in Dayton’s Bluff. Construction on the project will begin at the end of the month.

Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio, also known as CLUES, celebrated the groundbreaking of an expansion of its headquarters at 797 East Seventh St. in Dayton’s Bluff on Aug. 1.

The nonprofit, which serves Minnesota’s — and much of the Midwest’s — Latino population, is building a 19,000-square-foot addition.

The organization has a variety of youth and senior programs, job training and entrepreneurship programming. CLUES also shares space with the Mexican Consulate.

The expansion will add additional classroom space, meeting spaces and resources like a Teen Tech Center, where youth will have access to 3D printers, film and music production equipment and computers on which to learn coding.

There will also be a commercial teaching kitchen to promote healthy eating and business development.   

“This is an exciting day for our organization and our community,” said Ruby Lee, president of CLUES. She said planning and fundraising for the project has taken about six years.

During the Aug. 1 event, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter spoke, explaining that the city often relies on CLUES to connect with the Latino community. 

Both Carter and Lee said the expansion will lead the way for East Seventh Street to become a Latino cultural corridor in St. Paul.

“Let’s build a city that works well for everyone,” Carter said. 

 Sen. Foung Hawj, who represents the East Side’s District 67 in the Minnesota Senate, authored a bill to get state funding for the project. 

During the event, he spoke of the importance of having a resource like CLUES to enhance workforce development, especially during times of workforce shortages like the area is experiencing right now. 

“This is an exciting time for this area,” Hawj said, adding that the location is key, especially with Metropolitan State University just down the street

The project will cost $7.5 million, which has been raised through grants and donations from various foundations, including the Superbowl 52 Host Committee Legacy Fund, which gave CLUES $100,000 in December 2017. 

CLUES is the largest Latino-led nonprofit in Minnesota and serves about 35,000 people a year from across the Midwest. It was founded in 1981. 

Construction will begin at the end of August and will involve demolishing a long-vacant building just northeast of CLUES headquarters to make way for the expansion.

Construction is planned to wrap up in the spring of 2019, with a May grand opening. 


– Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at Follow her on Twitter at @EastSideM_Otto

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