Project at former school building
A Merriam Park development project, which hit some delays, is moving ahead. The St. Paul Planning Commission Jan. 6 approved a conditional use permit and variances for the Marshall Avenue Flats at 1619 Dayton Ave.
The project will be build on a parking lot north of the former Richard Gordon School building. The new six-story building will be at the southeast corner of Marshall and Fry Street.
The conditional use permit is to allow a building of up to 75 feet tall. Variances are needed for setbacks. The Planning Commission approvals are final unless they are appealed to the City Council within 10 days.
The site is zoned for traditional neighborhoods 3 use. The school building, which dates from 1911 and has been used as office space since the 1980s, will eventually be split from the planned new building,.
The property was rezoned in 2020 and received the same conditional use permit and variances. Because of COVID-19 related delays, the project has not gone forward as quickly as planned. The permit and variances would typically expire in two years if a project doesn’t go forward. The Jan. 6 action gives the developer more time. The project did get one extension from city staff.
Project financing, increased construction costs and the need to go through a historical review for the school also delayed the project, which is to start in 2023.
Concordia University gets lot
Concordia University will be able to purchase a longtime parking lot from the city, for $170,000. The St. Paul City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), Dec. 14 approved conveyance of the lot at 410 N. Griggs St. from the city to the HRA. After acting as a pass-through for the lot, the HRA will then sell the lot to the university.
The City Council approved the final sale, for $170,000, Jan. 4. The sale proceeds go to Midway Peace Park improvements.
The property at the northeast corner of Griggs and St. Anthony Avenue was part of the property that is now Midway Peace Park. The park is just north of the parking lot. It is adjacent to the parking area used by the building at 393 N. Dunlap that is owned and occupied by Concordia. Concordia also uses the 410 N. Griggs property for parking.
The Dunlap building, long known as Central Medical, was purchased by the university more than four years ago.
The sale will be by use of a limited warranty deed from the city to the HRA to Concordia subject to the terms and conditions. The city obtained a property appraisal. The value is limited by an easement over the property which currently allows Concordia to use it for parking.
The city is currently obligated to maintain the property including snow removal, but its use is limited to one parking spot for the park, as the rest of the property is used by Concordia for parking. The price represents a negotiated price which takes the limiting easement into account.
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