The developer behind the Keg & Case Market coming to St. Paul’s Schmidt Brewery complex bought another Schmidt building and plans to add a German beer hall and European-style cafe.
St. Paul city officials voted Wednesday to sell the vacant, historic Schmidt Rathskeller building to developer Craig Cohen for $1, and they signed off on nearly $1.3 million in tax incentives to assist with the project.
That is one piece of the financing needed to make the $7 million project a reality. The project’s funding is complex and it’s still early in the development process, Cohen said Thursday, but he said he’s “super excited.”
The Schmidt family added the building in 1935, and it has office space and a rathskeller — a German term for a basement restaurant or bar.
“Our restoration of the space itself will honor its inherent splendor by not changing it at all,” Cohen told City Council members at Wednesday’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority meeting.
The building would return to its original uses: office and restaurant space, Cohen said, and he also plans to build a cafe in the courtyard outside the building.
“It will add vibrancy and life to the site and give the residents and community a gathering place at the heart of the brewery,” he said.
The Fort Road Federation, the local district council, bought the building in 2011 and entered a development agreement with the city. It did some initial work on the property, but after years of trying to secure financing, the federation turned to Cohen to complete the project.
The Schmidt complex has experienced a rebirth in recent years. The brewery was turned into artist lofts, and Cohen is redeveloping the building where beer was stored. The Keg & Case Market is expected to include restaurants, a coffee shop, cheesemonger and taproom.
“The excitement surrounding Keg & Case has been undeniable, so much so that we have found more interested parties than we can place in the site itself,” he said. “We intend to parlay this interest into the Rathskeller site.”