People will soon be able to spot some action at the future site of St. Paul’s Major League Soccer stadium — but construction is still a little ways off.

The city issued developers a permit Tuesday to prepare the site for construction. The permit allows for minor utility demolition, remediation of soils and grading the dirt at the property owned by the Metropolitan Council in the Midway neighborhood.

This is the first in a series of permits that will be issued during the project, said Mollie Scozzari, spokeswoman for the city’s Planning and Economic Development Department.

Construction permits will be issued separately, she said.

Part of the shopping center to the north of the Met Council property must be demolished to make way for the privately funded $150 million stadium. Construction has been delayed as the various parties involved in the project deal with mortgage issues at the shopping center.

“Once the shopping center is under control, they can actually start building from the south to the north,” St. Paul Port Authority President Lee Krueger said.

“Progress is real, albeit slow.”

Jessie Van Berkel