After years of planning and negotiation, a prominent site along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul is slated for a major redevelopment beginning in 2021. Last year, Ramsey County reached a deal to sell a parcel of land at 50 W. Kellogg Boulevard to a national developer called AECOM, which plans to build four high-rise towers with a mix of Class-A office space, hotel, and residences called Riversedge.
This is great news for Saint Paul and Ramsey County for a few reasons.
- Tax base: The new towers will be a valuable addition to the city’s tax base, worth the significant investments the county made to raze the old jail which formerly occupied the parcel and prepare it for development.
- Vitality: The towers will contribute to the economic vitality of downtown Saint Paul, which has long needed more Class A office space in particular.
- Vision: The project offers the opportunity for Saint Paul to begin to realize its River Balcony Master Plan. The plan envisions a 1.5-mile-long series of elevated public balconies and bridges connecting Upper Landing Park at the top of the bluff along Kellogg Boulevard with Union Depot in Lowertown and the residential area along the river near Eagle Street.
The county requested $40 million in bonding from the state legislature to pay for the construction of this magnificent public amenity; unfortunately, it was not included in the final bonding package. It’s likely that the county will request bonding again in future legislative sessions.