164 years later, St. Paul might attempt a skyline



Did that headline just welcome St. Paul to Zing City? It did, unequivocally.

But that's not the only news involving Minnesota's capital. Three teams of developers -- L.A.'s AECOM; a collab between Twin Cities-based Sherman Associates and Frauenshuh Inc.; and the Prairie Island Indian Community -- have pitched plans to re-imagine St. Paul's downtown riverfront, the Minneapolis-St. Paul Biz Journal reports

AECOM and Sherman/Frauenshuh recently shared their visions with the Biz Journal, while the Prairie Island Indian Community, which owns Red Wing's Treasure Island Casino, could not be reached. 

The Sherman/Frauenshuh pitch involves three smaller towers that would hold offices, retail, luxury apartments, and a 140-ish room boutique hotel. Highlighted by two mixed-use skyscrapers reaching up to 30 stories, AECOM's pitch would transform the city's quaint attempt at a skyline. It also includes an amphitheater, a waterfall, and green space along the river, as pictured in the rendering above. 

All three plans feature docks extending into the Mississippi River; the Prairie Island Indian Community's dock would allow allow a 100-passenger ship to ferry passenger between downtown and Treasure Island, the Biz Journal reports.

Over the past two decades, Ramsey County has witnessed several failed attempts to develop the site, which was cleared after a $17 million demolition of older buildings, the Biz Journal notes. The narrow space, nearby railroad tracks, and, especially, the need for parking all present challenges to developers.

Ramsey County officials seem optimistic this go-'round. The recommendation of a development plan could emerge at a November 13 County Board workshop, a spokesperson tells the Biz Journal.

The author of this post is a native Minneapolitan, and therefore reserves the right to zing St. Paul