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Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Development Roundup by Jane McClure

Posted on 10 January 2017 by Calvin

City Council finds more infrastructure funding for soccer stadium
A complex series of changes to St. Paul tax increment financing (TIF) districts will provide needed funds for development of the planned Major League Soccer stadium at Snelling and St. Anthony avenues, and for other projects throughout the city. The St. Paul City Council Dec. 21 approved changes to the citywide scattered-site TIF district and the Snelling-University TIF district.

The actions follow a Dec. 14 vote by the City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) Board to terminate the TIF district and development agreement for the Penfield development downtown. The HRA also recommended council approval of the scattered site and Snelling-University districts’ changes. Both districts had lent money to help the city build the Penfield.
Sale of the Penfield mixed-use building downtown gives the city needed resources to spend on redevelopment projects.

The actions related to the sale are complicated and affect three TIF districts. TIF allows a city to collect tax increments realized from redevelopment and apply those directly to the project itself. TIF districts are approved for a set time and can be extended a set number of times.

The City Council and HRA Board in March 2016 also authorized TIF spending for the planned Major League Soccer stadium once the Penfield was sold. The scattered site district will provide $6,402,081 of the returned tax increment from the sale of the Penfield project for soccer stadium site infrastructure. The Snelling-University district will provide $709,219.

The scattered site district was originally established in 1988. It has grown over the years to include properties in all but City Council Ward Four. One major plan amendment in 2010 allowed the city to provide additional funding for improvements along the Green Line light rail.

The Snelling-University TIF district was created in 1990 as part of the development of Midway Marketplace, in the block bounded by Pascal St. and University, Hamline and St. Anthony avenues. Like the scattered site district, Snelling-University was amended in 2010 and 2011 to provide funding for improvements along the Green Line.

Business Center is now open
The Midway Stadium Business Center recently opened its doors to new tenants. The stadium is on the site of the old Municipal Stadium, later renamed Midway Stadium, on Energy Park Drive.

The St. Paul Port Authority and United Properties redeveloped the site, which was a Minnesota State Fair dump before it became a ballpark. Site cleanup took about $5.5 million.

It is the first multi-tenant industrial building in Minnesota with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification due to its many energy-efficiency features. It is 189,000 square feet in size and is on a 12.8-acre site. Tierney Brothers, an interactive solutions company, has leased part of the space for its 100 workers.

The redevelopment partnership took shape in 2014, with a Port-City and swap for the new ballpark in Lowertown. The intent was to build an environmentally sustainable development while returning the site to the property tax rolls. It has environmentally-friendly features inside and outside and will have solar installed on its roof this summer.

Projects get Met Council help
The Metropolitan Council latest round of Livable Communities grants had two small allocations for area projects. The grants, which this round totaled more than $10 million, support affordable housing and mixed-use development.

Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. Applicants are local units of government that participate in the Livable Communities program. Proposed projects must meet criteria that the Council has vetted and approved.

One area project is the ongoing effort to keep the Como by the Lake apartment building affordable to seniors and people with disabilities. The building is just south of the lake and has 99 units. It was awarded a $400,000 affordable housing grant.

The nonprofit development corporation Model Cities was awarded $100,000 to assist the rehabilitation of apartment complexes near the Green Line, preserving existing supportive housing.

Licenses are granted
The redevelopment of the former Silgan can manufacturing complex continues as the Can Can Wonderland artist-designed mini-golf center prepared for its opening this month at 755 N. Prior Ave.

The St. Paul City Council in December voted to waive a 45-day notice requirement to issue liquor on-sale, 2am closing, Sunday liquor, entertainment and gambling licenses, with conditions.

Last year the city created a commercial development district to allow for issuance of the liquor licenses because all existing on-sale licenses in Ward Four area spoken for.






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