I have a passion for economic development and enjoy tracking progress on the various projects underway in St. Paul. In case you missed the latest updates on 3 of the biggest, I am happy to share them with you this week!
Before I do, don’t forget to participate in the Fed’s latest business survey. Share your feedback about current economic conditions and help the Minneapolis Fed understand the impact that the economy is having on your business. Take the 7-minute survey here.
The Heights – Last Tuesday we celebrated with the Saint Paul Port Authority, Mayor Carter, City Council members and other state and local officials, at the groundbreaking for the Port’s newest and biggest redevelopment project on the former Hillcrest Country Club. This 112-acre site will bring up to 1000 new housing units (a mix of affordable and market-rate) and 1000 new jobs. Sherman Associates will be the master residential developer, and is partnering with JO Companies and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity; Xcel Energy already has committed to building a new east metro operations center on site. More is ahead! Here is the Pioneer Press article on the project, and the Port’s website should you want to follow along as it moves forward.
My thoughts here: this is a project to celebrate - watch the amazing Port Authority begin its work!
RiversEdge – the legislature committed $6.2M to this project this year, arguably the most exciting development opportunity in the Midwest. This is a once in a generation project on the bluff, overlooking the beautiful Mississippi River. I remain very optimistic and supportive. Ramsey County continues to be proactive, forward thinking, and we need both on this generational opportunity. Ronald Reagan was the first to teach me about supply economics: the “build it and they will come” approach to development. The east metro needs this mindset; and this project exemplifies it. RiversEdge will welcome new visitors through its planned park to connect the bluff to the river, bring in new residents with its housing/retail, and ultimately bring in new Class A office tenants (we simply don’t have enough inventory of either in St. Paul). Should you want more details, last week Finance & Commerce wrote a nice piece providing an update on the project.
My thoughts here: hold onto the vision; this is an exceptional example of envisioning what should be here, and making it so.
United Village/Snelling Midway site – it was back in 2016 that we first got a glimpse of the significant development plans for the “super block” that surrounds Allianz Field. Together the property owner, Dr. Bill McGuire, and the City’s PED/Public Works/Parks departments, have been working ever since to overcome hurdles and move forward on a development. Yes, this is taking longer than anyone had hoped; lest we forget, for 3 years we experienced market interruption of “pandemic” proportions. It’s exciting to see the current energy and momentum underway to make this vision a reality!
My thoughts here: breathe in the appreciation for the ongoing commitment from all partners on this project, to usher in the ultimate execution on a very exciting plan.
See you in the trenches,