After months of planning, Ryan Cos. released its plans for the redevelopment of O’Gara’s, the well-known Irish pub at the corner of Selby and Snelling avenues in St. Paul.
Ryan seeks to replace the existing O’Gara’s restaurant, three single-family homes and a parking lot with a five-story building that would include 163 apartments, underground parking stalls, a co-working space and a new O’Gara’s. The new bar, at 4,116 square feet, would be about one-fourth the size of the existing one.
“We are excited to design and develop a project that will continue to be a valued landmark in the community for the next generation,” said Tony Barranco, senior vice president of real estate development for Ryan.
Ryan submitted plans to the City of St. Paul on Tuesday. Officials are expected to attend community land-use meetings throughout the summer and hope to start construction this fall. The firm will codevelop the project with the Excelsior Group, as the company did with several other projects including the 222 Hennepin and Edition apartments in Minneapolis.
Excelsior Group staff are expected to manage the apartments and operate the co-working space.
“We are trying to blend the benefit of the amenities and concierge-style service of the apartments with the co-working area,” Barranco said.
The site is now owned by the O’Gara family, which will lease the restaurant space in the building. The site is across Selby from another Ryan project, the Vintage — an upscale mixed-use development that includes apartments, a Whole Foods store and an Associated Bank.
Dan O’Gara, the third-generation owner of the pub, said in a statement that he sought out Ryan to redevelop the site because of the firm’s work on the Vintage.
The project includes three income-restricted rentals, and some of the construction waste will be salvaged by Better Futures Minnesota.
The plan also includes stormwater management improvements to a site that currently has no active management, as well as a more active streetscape that includes plantings between the road and sidewalk.
Neighbors had hoped that the redevelopment would preserve at least the facade of the original building into the new design, as Minneapolis developer Schafer Richardson did when it redeveloped Nye’s Polonaise Room in Minneapolis into apartments atop street-level commercial space that now includes a smaller Nye’s. But that wasn’t feasible, Ryan told neighbors earlier.
Instead, the company will incorporate many of the best-known interior elements into the new space, including pressed-tin ceilings, historic photos and a marble-topped bar. The exterior of the building, which is being designed by Ryan Architecture + Engineering, was inspired by the original masonry building. The goal is to make the corner more pedestrian-friendly, including outdoor seating in what’s now a service alley.
“While we will retain lots of little touches that will remind of our past, our smaller footprint and outdoor patio area will reshape our business, making it feel like a great neighborhood pub and restaurant,” O’Gara said.