A nearly three-story loon statue will be the focal point of a St. Paul park planned for the United Village development surrounding Allianz Field.

The steel bird, posed as if it's taking flight, will measure nearly 33 feet high and 88 feet wide, the Snelling-Midway Redevelopment Group announced Friday. The sculpture will be crafted by Andy Scott, a Scottish artist with more than 90 installations around the world.

"The role art will play in the United Village development has been part of its planning from the very beginning," Snelling-Midway partner and Minnesota United FC soccer team owner Bill McGuire said in a statement.

Installation of the sculpture at the southeast corner of Snelling and University avenues is planned for early summer, the release said.

In a statement, Scott said that after learning about the project, it became "quickly apparent" to him that the sculpture would take the shape of a loon.

"It's so symbolic of Minnesota, the natural environment that has helped define it and the people who have called it home throughout its history," he said.

Long-awaited development on the 35-acre site surrounding the stadium began this fall, after delays attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and riots following the death of George Floyd. Buildings nearby, including the Midway Shopping Center and Big Top Liquors store, sat charred and vacant for more than a year. Bulldozers finally demolished the structures in late 2021.

In addition to the one-acre park, the $160 million first phase includes plans for an all-abilities playground, an office building, a hotel and two restaurants. McGuire has said he expects housing to be built in future phases.

The City Council, acting as the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), on Wednesday voted to allocate up to $13 million of tax increment generated by private development on the site towards public infrastructure, such as roads. The HRA also approved a $4 million forgivable loan, backed by tax-increment financing left over from other projects in the city, to assist with construction of the restaurants and office building.

"The development we are supporting now is what attracts investments to the underperforming properties in the area," St. Paul Planning and Economic Development Director Nicolle Goodman said during the meeting.

Council Member Russel Balenger, who represents the area, said he's heard from constituents who are excited to see the site coming alive.

"I'm very excited about moving forward with this, and I think it's already been a great addition to the community," he said.