The City will host a public open house on the draft master plan for the soccer stadium and related redevelopment of the Midway Center site near Snelling and University Ave on Tuesday, March 15, at 7:00 p.m. at the Buenger Education center at Concordia University. Mayor Chris Coleman and State Representative Rena Moran will give an introduction, followed by a presentation from architects working on the draft site plan for the entire 34.5-acre site. This is your opportunity to learn more about the proposed redevelopment and share your input through discussion breakout sessions on various topics following the presentation.
The proposed plan, which remains conceptual at this stage, envisions a vibrant urban “village” surrounding the 20,000-seat soccer stadium. Proposed concepts include a mix of commercial and residential developments with ideas like a hotel, movie theater, office space and housing. The site plan also envisions 5.4 acres of public green space near the center of the development. Planners hope to break ground this year. The privately-financed stadium is expected to be completed in time for the 2018 soccer season.
The presentation on the draft master plan plan can be viewed here.
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Highlights from the Headlines:
City to contribute $18.4 million for public infrastructure costs
St. Paul City Council recently voted to fund public infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks and plazas for the site development to the tune of $18.4 million on the southern half of the entire 35-acre site. The cost of the stadium itself is estimated at $150 million to be entirely paid for by the team and owners, who will seek exemption from the state legislature from paying property taxes on the land. The land is currently off the tax rolls and has not collected any property taxes for 50 years. The team will also seek a sales tax exemption on building materials to construct the stadium.
Read more about the City Council resolution in the Pioneer Press here.
Complex Agreement 'A Lawyer's Dream'
The stadium itself will be built on a 10-acre parcel of land formerly used for storage and maintenance of city buses, known as the Bus Barn site. That parcel of land is owned by the Metropolitan Council, which will lease the land to the City of St. Paul, who will in turn lease the land to the Major League Soccer team, MN United, as part of a 52-year lease agreement. The stadium designs currently incorporate a small parcel of land currently owned by RK Midway, who owns the rest of the 35-acre site. The team will purchase that piece of land and hand it over to the city. Once the stadium is built, the team will hand ownership over to the City.
Read more about the agreement particulars from MinnPost here.
What about parking?
Concerns have been raised about the apparent lack of parking for the new stadium. Officials have expressed the desire for a large percentage of game attendees to arrive to the stadium via public transit, as it sits at the intersection of the Green Line Light Rail and the coming Bus Rapid Transit A Line, which will open June of this year. A study is currently underway to examine transportation issues related to the stadium. There will also likely be a certain amount of parking built into the envisioned developments on the larger site, and some on-street parking will also be offered throughout the site. Many neighbors have also expressed concern that game attendees will opt for free parking on surrounding residential streets. Information on residential permit parking can be found on the City's website here.
Read more about parking issues and opportunities from Northern Pitch here.