Ramsey County appeals for developer interest in riverfront site

Ramsey County officials are back on the hunt for a developer to transform a prominent riverfront site in downtown St. Paul a couple of months after a $225 million mixed-use project for the property was called off.

On Tuesday, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners voted to issue a request for development interest for the nearly 5 acres of land at the intersection of Wabasha Street and Kellogg Boulevard that overlooks the Mississippi River.

The property was the site of the former West Publishing Co. buildings and the Ramsey County jail. The county spent $17 million to demolish those buildings.

Phoenix-based Cardon Development Group was the only developer to submit ideas to Ramsey County when it initially sought a partner to remake the property. Cardon planned to build a complex with an upscale hotel, 300-unit housing, offices, retail and parking facility.

But the plan fell through when Cardon couldn’t financially justify the cost of the parking structure it would need to serve as the base for the complex, county officials announced in September.

The County Board hopes to approve an agreement and final design with a developer by the end of the third quarter of next year.

Paster Properties to target urban core with new development division

Paster Properties, which is known for developing suburban shopping centers, created a new division to focus on mixed-use retail development in the urban core.

John Kohler and Mike Sturdivant will lead the division, called Paster Development.

“With a foundation of 70 years of development experience, our team at Paster Properties has the expertise to build properties, the understanding of what it takes to build businesses, and the integrity it takes to build relationships,” Howard Paster, president of Paster Properties, said in a statement.

Recently, Paster Properties codeveloped the Shops at 1700, a mixed-use project in Minnetonka that features retail and five levels of luxury apartments. Paster Properties is also working on development projects in the North Loop, Mendota Heights and St. Paul.

Nicole Norfleet

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