What’s making news in St. Paul, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to richard.meryhew@startribune.com.

Posts about Local business

Update on Ford site set for Tuesday

Posted by: Kevin Duchschere Updated: July 21, 2014 - 10:28 AM

City and industry leaders, including Mayor Chris Coleman, have scheduled an update for tomorrow morning on redevelopment of the Ford plant site in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood.

"St. Paul has some of the region's brightest minds, boldest thinkers, and ablest hands who will contribute their talents to propel this site to be a national model of redevelopment and innovative reuse of a former industrial property," said Coleman, in a statement released Monday.

Still, it won't be until next year that Ford, which owns the site, plans to solicit proposals nationally for redevelopment of the site. Only then will we have a better idea about what might actually go there.

City leaders have expressed hopes for a mixed-use development that includes housing, business and green space.

The 122-acre riverfront site has been largely cleared of the structures Ford used for decades to build vehicles ranging from the Model T to the Ranger pickup truck. Demolition began a little more than a year ago.

The big task now will be the ongoing work of cleaning the polluted site to industrial standards.

Participating in the Tuesday news conference, scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Ford site, will be Coleman, City Council Member Chris Tolbert, and Ford site manager Mike Hogan.

West Side Groceries owner charged for unsanitary conditions, no license

Posted by: Chao Xiong Updated: July 18, 2014 - 3:24 PM

Store owner Hamza A. Abualzain was arrested for license and food safety violations.

Inspectors allegedly found rodent droppings throughout West Side Groceries on a recent visit that led to the arrest and charging of owner Hamza A. Abualzain.

Abualzain allegedly ran the store at 605 Stryker Ave. without a license and under unsanitary conditions, according to charges filed Friday in Ramsey County District Court. Abualzain, 34, of Columbia Heights, is charged with one count of gross misdemeanor not having a food handler license, two counts of gross misdemeanor violating food safety by keeping food in unsanitary conditions and one count of misdemeanor violating food safety by misbranding food.

According to the complaint: Inspectors visited the store, also known as the Stryker Market, on July 10 and found the rodent droppings, dirty and broken ceiling tiles, inaccessible and dirty sinks, floors strewn with cigarette butts and trash and water dripping onto food. They also found food stacked on the floor in an inch of standing water and misbranded meat.

Charges show that authorities with the state Department of Agriculture also found similar problems during a routine December 3 inspection. At that time, they also found that raw food was not stored separately from ready-to-eat food and that the store had no sanitizer for cleaning utensils and surfaces that had contact with food.

Abualzain was ordered to rectify the problems and to renew his license, which was due to expire on March 15. But a follow-up inspection on Dec. 10 revealed no improvements, the charges said. Authorities gave Abualzain another order to fix the problems.

St. Paul Port Authority strikes deal to redevelop Midway Stadium site

Posted by: James Walsh Updated: June 24, 2014 - 3:17 PM

Midway Stadium is not going to remain a lonely, empty ballpark for long.

The St. Paul Port Authority has struck a redevelopment deal with United Properties, owned by the Pohlads, to turn the longtime home of the St. Paul Saints into a mixed use industrial property once the Saints have moved to their new home in Lowertown.

The deal means that the Port Authority and United Properties will co-own and operate the site, splitting the risk and, eventually, the rent that comes once the 12.8-acre site is redeveloped.

About 190,000 square feet of building is projected for the site. Spokesman Tom Collins said the Port Authority's contribution to the deal is the land and infrastructure costs, including tearing down the stadium and getting the site ready for development. United Properties will pay the cost of new construction at the site.

Construction at the site is expected to begin in the spring of 2016 and should be ready for occupancy by that fall, according to the agreement. The project's proposed budget, including a $9 million contruction loan, is $15 million.

The agreement anticipates a future workforce at the site of more than 200 employees.



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