Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

April 2018 Development Notes

Posted on 09 April 2018 by Calvin


Three Midway-area redevelopment projects eyed
It’s an all-Monitor area agenda at the St. Paul Planning Commission zoning committee at 3:30pm, Thur., Apr. 12 at City Hall.

A rezoning from traditional neighborhoods (TN) 2 to TN3 is eyed for 2330 Long Ave., at the southwest corner of Long and Bradford avenues, in South St. Anthony Park. The developer is 842 Ray LLC. The change in zoning would allow for a higher-density building to be erected there. The area is occupied by townhouses and some single-family homes.

A second request is for Larpenteur Crossing at 1330 Larpenteur Ave. and 1672 Hamline Ave. Sarin Development is seeking a conditional use permit for drive-through sales, with conditions. The project would mean redevelopment for the corner anchored for many years by Mac’s Fish and Chips and Midtown Cleaners.

The third request is for BP Gas and Convenience, 1347 University Ave., where a conditional use permit is sought for replacement of a convenience store and car wash. They are seeking modification of maximum setback requirements so that pump islands may be placed between the building and Hamline; and a variance of minimum floor area ratio.

Changes for old Baker School?
Changes are coming to the former Baker School property in the West Midway. The St. Paul Planning commission Apr. 6 recommended rezoning the property for traditional neighborhoods use. That request goes on to the St. Paul City Council for final approval. No date has been set.

Baker East Partners applied for 821 Raymond Ave. and 2421 Territorial Road. The properties are currently zoned for commercial and parking uses. It’s a larger property of more than 74,000 square feet.

The application states that while there are no changes planned for the school-turned-offices, TN3 neighborhood zoning would accommodate potential future changes.

The zoning change would be consistent with zoning changes made nearby, in conjunction with Green Line light rail redevelopment. Several new and building conversion projects are in the area

Baker School was built in 1890 and added onto in 1910. It served as a school into the 1970s and was later converted to office and restaurant use. Architects Ron Ankeny and Duane Kell successfully bid on the school in the 1980s and paid $60,000 for it, according to past newspaper accounts. They rezoned the property in 1981. Ankeny and Kell also converted the former St. Paul Fire Station 14 on North Snelling Ave. into office uses.

Humane Society buys warehouse on Kasota Ave.
The Animal Humane Society has purchased a multi-tenant warehouse at 2565-2575 Kasota Ave. The purchase took place last month for $7.3 million. The warehouse is in a largely industrial area.

Long-term plans call for a shelter at that location. The Animal Humane Society has facilities in St. Paul at 1115 Beulah Lane, and in Coon Rapids, Woodbury and Golden Valley. Its headquarters are in Golden Valley.

Met Council announces grants
St. Paul projects met mixed results in the most recent round of Metropolitan Council grants. The St. Paul City Council in March accepted several grant applications.

The projects approved recently were submitted in late 2017. The Ain Dah Yung housing for homeless youth on Sherburne Ave. in Frogtown was awarded $350,000 in Metropolitan Council Livable Communities Demonstration Account grant funds.

But a request for 700 Emerald St. wasn’t approved. Nor did the Emerald Street project win Tax Base Revitalization Account (TBRA) Program funding. Other area projects shut out from TBRA were the new Junior Achievement headquarters at 1745 University and Willow Reserve development projects on Maryland Ave.

The Ain Dah Yung project was among half a dozen in St. Paul that were approved. More than a dozen projects had been submitted.

Neighborhood STAR changes encourage business ideas
Efforts to promote more business applications for St. Paul’s Neighborhood sales tax revitalization (STAR) program appear to be paying off. The Neighborhood STAR Board’s deliberations are underway, with 42 projects competing. Of those, 29 are business-related requests. Decisions will be made later this year by the St. Paul City Council.

The uptick is being attributed to changes in the program guidelines to encourage more small business development. “We’ve seen more business apply,” said Bruce Corrie, director of the city’s Department of Planning and Economic Development.

The number of applications is up ten from 2017. The requests this spring total $5,470,694. Of those, $3,029,434 are in grants and $2,441,261 are in loans. Matches proposed total $28,493,242. The program typically has less than $2 million available.

Changes approved in time for the 2018 cycle allow small for-profit businesses to apply for 100 percent grant funding. Priority is provided to proposals filling vacant commercial storefront space. The city has also eliminated the need for matching dollars on the first $50,000 of a loan request. Larger for-profit entities can still be eligible to apply for a loan or loan/grant combination. Grant requests still require a $1 to $1 match.

Several Monitor area businesses are in the chase for funding.

Black Hart Properties, owner of Town House at 1415 University Ave., applied for a $50,000 grant to make restroom accessibility improvements, and facade work. A $51,770 match is proposed.

Can Can Wonderland, 755 N. Prior Ave., is asking for a $44,976 loan to make lighting improvements for the entertainment venue. No match is proposed.
Sabrina’s Café and Deli, 518 N. Snelling Ave., applied for a $10,00 grant with $10,000 match. This would help pay for a new awning and interior work.

Nearby at 641 N. Snelling Ave., the Little Africa Ready for Soccer 2019 Project seeks a $42,00 grant and $28,000 loan for improvements to that building. A $42,000 match is proposed.

Snelling Coffee. 638 N. Snelling Ave., seeks a $10,00 grant and a $10,000 loan, to improve its parking lot, signage and make other improvements A $10,00 match is proposed.

The guild842 co-working space at 842 Raymond Ave. applied for a $50,00 grant and a $50,000 loan, with $50,000 match, to make improvements to a coworking space.

Jobs Foundation, which runs the Tech Dump and Tech Discounts businesses on Prior Ave., is seeking a $130,000 grant and $170,00 loan with a $3.42 million match to make improvements at 860 Vandalia Ave.

Three groups are seeking citywide program funds to encourage ethnic business development. The African Development Center seeks a $100,000 grant and a $300,000 loan, with a $400,000 match, for a small business revolving loan fund. African Economic Development Solutions seeks a $200,000 grant with $305,000 match to provide loans for African entrepreneurs. Asian Economic Development Association seeks a $250,000 grant with $250,000 match for small business improvement loans.

One of the area’s two nonbusiness applications is from Hamline Midway Coalition, which is seeking a $32,500 grant, with $32,500 match, for a handball court at Clayland Park. The park is at 901 N. Fairview Ave.

The other is St. Paul Fellowship, 868 Sherburne Ave., which seeks a $23,500 loan to make interior and exterior improvements. This application is made with Frogtown Neighborhood Association. A $23,500 match is proposed.

Snelling-Selby area eyed for two developments
More change is coming to the neighborhoods around Selby and Snelling avenues, as the iconic O’Gara’s Bar and Grill makes way for a new mixed-use development later this year. More than 100 people attended the Mar. 19 Union Park District Council land use committee meeting to discuss ideas for redevelopment. If all goes as planned, work could start in the fall and new development could open in spring 2020.

Also, Dunkin’ Donuts and Red’s Savoy Pizza could open their doors at Snelling and Hague avenues, where a Dairy Queen stood for more than 65 years. Grand Real Estate Advisors and Collage Architects presented preliminary plans Mar. 19. That project could also move ahead later this year.

Committee members and neighborhood residents have mixed feelings about the developments. Some wanted to see mixed-use development on the old DQ site at 143 N. Snelling Ave. Others lament losing the longtime commercial buildings that make up the O’Gara’s complex. There are also fears about both developments increasing traffic and parking.

A new, smaller O’Gara’s with four stories of apartments above it would be the biggest change for a neighborhood that saw 2.3 acres at the northeast corner of Selby and Snelling redeveloped a few years ago. Residents and business owners are braced for more change as a Major League Soccer stadium is preparing for a 2019 opening, just a few blocks to the north.

O’Gara’s owner Dan O’Gara and Tony Barranco of Ryan Companies said they’re mindful of the changes the area has been through in recent years. They told those present Mar. 19 that they want to work with the community to mitigate impacts of redevelopment.

Redevelopment is a way to ensure that O’Gara’s can continue to operate in the future, O’Gara said. He and his wife Kris are third-generation owners of the business, which got its start in 1941. “We need to do something drastic to stay here.”

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