The historic Pioneer-Endicott buildings in downtown St. Paul, which have been vacant for some time, are entering a new era.
St. Paul-based Pak Properties
recently closed on the property, according to city spokesperson Janelle Tummel.
The project, for which the cost is still unknown, will be divided into two phases, she says. Phase one includes the development of 55 rental units, some of which will be affordable, plus two floors of commercial space, according to Tummel.
Although Pak Properties is the developer, the city is the pass-through for $661,100 in environmental cleanup funds from the Metropolitan Council
, money that will go specifically to asbestos and lead-based-paint abatement, according to Tummel.
Following a couple months of cleanup, construction and leasing activities will take place, and then the "hope is to begin working on occupying the residential units," though the time line is vague at this point, she says.
Tummel says the early proposal includes a green roof, energy-efficient lighting, and low-flow plumbing fixtures.
Both buildings stand out for historic reasons. The 1889 Pioneer building, which was the city's first skyscraper with 16 stories, originally housed the Pioneer Press, according to Finance and Commerce
. Endicott, which is attached to the Pioneer building, encompasses two structures that date back to 1890, it reports.
"The city is supportive of reusing this vacant historic treasure in downtown St. Paul," Tummel says. "It'll bring in new residents and it'll create new vibrancy in an area that's already starting to be transformed," which is a trend that she says will continue with the development of the Central Corridor Light Rail
line to connect Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Source: Janelle Tummel, St. Paul spokesperson
Writer: Anna Pratt