Compiled by JANE MCCLURE
Building behind Bandana Square changes hands
The Chimneys at Energy Park, 1217 Bandana Blvd., has been sold. The old railroad building, which is behind Bandana Square, was sold recently. The Falls Event Center, a Utah company, paid $1.75 million for the site, according to real estate records. The Falls plans to turn the building into an event center. The company operates event centers nationwide.
The light brick building is well-known for the series of chimneys lining its roof. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1885 as the Northern Pacific Railroad blacksmith shop. Many longtime area residents might remember when the Minnesota Children’s Museum was housed there starting in the 1980s. Since 1998 it has housed Summit Envirosolutions, and was owned by John and Ellen Dustman.
Work is to get underway this summer.
New housing proposed at Snelling and Carroll
Development continues along Snelling Ave. near Interstate 94. The Union Park District Council Feb. 27 reviewed a proposal to redevelop a site at the northeast corner of Snelling and Carroll avenues. The site now includes two commercial buildings on Snelling and a vacant home on Carroll. The buildings would be replaced by a new building that would reach four stories in height, with lower heights facing the adjacent residential neighborhood. The building would have about 60 market-rate apartments and between 60-70 parking spaces on the first floor and on an underground level.
Gaughnan Companies would be the developer.
The property is in an area slated for rezoning for higher-density traditional neighborhoods use, which the city is studying. If the city makes zoning changes to much of Snelling south of I-94, no neighborhood recommendation would be needed.
The project would follow redevelopment of property northeast of Selby and Snelling avenues and other proposals to the south. Areas along Snelling in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood were rezoned to traditional neighborhoods use two years ago.
West Midway to get a park
West Midway land once owned by Weyerhaeuser Lumber will become a park, serving an area where much development has occurred. The St. Paul City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority Board, voted Feb. 22 to acquire 2.28 acres of land at 700 Emerald St.
The land is part of a larger 13-acre former industrial site, which has been owned by 700 Emerald, LLC since 2016. The property owner is a subsidiary of Dominium Development.
The balance of the site is envisioned as the location for 360 units of senior and workforce housing. The Westgate Station Area Plan has called for a park in the area, at the southern end of Curfew St. The Curfew St. site was recently developed by Sunrise Banks, so another park site was designated.
City plans indicate a deficit of parkland for the area, which is a mix of residential, commercial and industrial uses. Extensive redevelopment has occurred around Westgate in recent years. The park’s exact boundaries will be set during the platting process,
The action taken on Feb. 22 allows the HRA to buy land from the developer, for a price of up to $1.285 million. Work including removal of a rail spur will push the price up to about $1.56 million. The developer will donated .63 acres of land to the project.