Hempel Cos. has entered into an operating agreement to begin work on redevelopment of the former Macy’s building that spans a full block of downtown St. Paul.

Construction on the vacant building could start next month, officials said after the board of Capital City Properties, the nonprofit subsidiary of the St. Paul Port Authority, approved a partnership with Hempel on Tuesday.

“This is going to be transformative for St. Paul,” Hempel President Josh Krsnak said. “You don’t have opportunities like this too often in your career.”

Officials at Oppidan, the previous developer that the Port Authority was working with on the project, said they are disappointed that the port decided to partner with Hempel. Port Authority President Lee Krueger said they liked Oppidan but “had to start earlier than they were ready to go,” in order to get the building ready for the Minnesota Wild’s training camp in fall 2017. The Wild will practice full-time at an ice rink planned for the building’s roof.

The Macy’s redevelopment is anticipated to cost more than $60 million, about $8 million more than previously anticipated, Krueger said, primarily due to complications with the dated building. Much of the cost will be covered by a $46 million loan that Hempel will take out. The St. Paul City Council has also signed off on $11 million in tax increment financing at the site.

There is room in the building for six or more potential tenants, depending on how much space the businesses need, said Randy McKay, principal at Hempel. Hempel currently has about six tenants who are very interested and have remained on board through the project’s various “undulations,” McKay said.