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City to rehab vacant, historic property on East Side

  • Article by: Nicole Norfleet
  • Star Tribune
  • May 20, 2013 - 9:10 PM

 

From the outside, the red brick apartment building on the corner of Bates Avenue and E. Euclid Street in historic Dayton’s Bluff doesn’t look that different from how it did more than a hundred years ago when it served as a classy home for middle-class businessmen and their families. However, a step inside either entry of the Euclid View apartments reveals years of misuse and neglect.

The prominent building, which in recent years has become a problem property, is set to be given new life with the city’s request for developers to submit proposals on how the more-than-century-old building can be rehabilitated.

A step inside the three-story, rowhouse-like property reveals dirty, linoleum-covered floors littered with broken glass. Holes are in ceilings, walls and windows. Grimy fridges and cabinets are left hanging ajar. And that’s the six units that are in the best shape.

Despite its crude condition, a wide-eyed Carol Carey, executive director of nonprofit Historic St. Paul, wandered through the building during a recent open house admiring the views of downtown that the bay windows afford and imagining out loud how the property could be renovated.

“What if you looked at just opening the whole space up. … The really great light that it does get, wait till you see upstairs; it’s even more pronounced, would really flow through the whole unit,” she said, as she made her way through the dingy halls.

Carey isn’t the only person letting her imagination run wild.

City Council President and Ward 7 representative Kathy Lantry said the rehabilitation of the Euclid View apartments, which sit across the street from Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary and the adjacent Dayton’s Bluff Recreation Center, would be “pivotal” for the neighborhood.

“It really can be something,” Lantry said. “It has the potential to be a real beacon.”

It’s 16,928 square feet with 12 units. Its estimated market value is $480,000, which includes the land.

According to St. Paul historian Jim Sazevich, the building was built in 1894 in a quick span of three months. It was advertised that the building had steam heat and a janitor on duty, which was unusual at that time. “This was a nice classy address,” Sazevich said.

Over the last five years, police have been called to the building around 100 times for disturbances, burglaries, assaults and other crimes.

“Obviously, anytime the city comes in and can do a rehab and bring better folks in terms of homeowners and quality renters in, I’m all for it,” said senior commander Joe Neuberger, who leads the Police Department’s Eastern District.

St. Paul’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority occasionally has properties for sale for multifamily housing development. The bulk of the city’s portfolio is single-family homes, said Jennifer Jordan, a principal project manager for the city. “It’s rare that we own a large property like this,” she said.

The property became bank-owned in late 2010, Jordan said. The city acquired the property in 2011. The city had received proposals last year on how to rehab the property but no plans had been carried out.

Another open house is scheduled Thursday. Proposals are due June 1.

 

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495

Twitter: @stribnorfleet

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