New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

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minnyapple
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New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby minnyapple » June 10th, 2013, 8:59 pm

I don't think there is a topic for this so here we go.

From Pioneer press "A new state Senate office building will be constructed one block northeast of the State Office Building. The state Department of Administration on Monday published requests for bids on the four-story building and a nearby 730-stall parking ramp. Construction on the $89.5 million project is scheduled to start next spring and be completed by May 2015."

"The new building can't be taller than 58 feet. State law bars any structure on the campus from exceeding the Capitol cornice in height."

Saint Paul Pioneer Press. http://www.twincities.com/ci_23430275/n ... orth-state

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby sanchopanza » June 11th, 2013, 6:16 am

Glad to see a surface parking lot being converted to a building. I though this was interesting:

"The new building can't be taller than 58 feet. State law bars any structure on the campus from exceeding the Capitol cornice in height."

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woofner
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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby woofner » June 11th, 2013, 10:41 am

Here's hoping the height limit also applies to the parking ramp. And that they get some ground-floor retail on the Rice and University sides (less likely).
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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby MNdible » June 11th, 2013, 12:33 pm

redisciple wrote:And that they get some ground-floor retail on the Rice and University sides (less likely).


That would be great. I wonder what it would take? Might be a good space for a credit union serving state employees, if there is such a thing.

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby bptenor » June 11th, 2013, 12:37 pm

It's good to see the area around the Ford building filled in, even though it is a parking ramp. Would some govt-related retail be easier to attract and sustain in a govt-owned structure? I'm thinking a post office or something that truly would get used by the community as well. I don't really have any idea how govt real estate works. Let's hope something takes that major corner.

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby mulad » June 11th, 2013, 1:10 pm

I'd have to say no dice to the idea of a post office (which is federal, sort of -- it's really been spun off into a tightly-regulated corporation). They've been reducing the number of outlets and relocating to cheaper spaces whenever possible.

A credit union might work -- Hiway Credit Union was originally formed by employees of MnDOT (or rather the Highway Department at the time). But they already have some locations pretty close to the capitol (the main office is 1/2-mile north), and I don't know if there's much incentive for them to move.

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby twincitizen » June 11th, 2013, 1:51 pm

So how do we lobby for retail to be included at the corner of Rice & University in that parking ramp?

Does that corner fall under the Captiol Area architecture board jurisdiction or whatever, rather than the St. Paul Planning Commission?

Or the State Senator for the area? From the sound of it, they only approved funding so far for the design process of the new building and ramp, so there is plenty of time to make sure they get it right. Putting a huge blank wall on University, across the street from the LRT station will be detrimental to the future of that area, which could really use a shot in the arm (rather than a punch in the face)

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woofner
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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby woofner » June 11th, 2013, 2:27 pm

It looks like it is under the Capitol Area Architectural/Planning Board, and they have the following provision in their Central Corridor overlay:
A minimum of 50 percent of ground floor building frontage along University Avenue and Rice Street must be occupied by uses that encourage pedestrian activity and interest, including, but not limited to, retail and service uses, meeting rooms, eating areas, and offices serving the public. Buildings owned or lease-purchased by the state are exempt from this requirement, although active uses are encouraged on the ground floor frontage of state buildings.
So that's a yay. I'm sort of nervous because the appropriation didn't specifically authorize retail, but hopefully the commissioner of administration will interpret that as implicit due to the zoning.
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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby FISHMANPET » June 11th, 2013, 2:32 pm

Wouldn't this qualify as a building owned by the state? They are "encouraged" to follow the rule but don't have to, which pretty much means they can just flip the double bird is they drive into their parking mass.

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby woofner » June 11th, 2013, 3:14 pm

Good catch, Fishmanpet. One of the great tragedies of human existence is the inability of the vast majority of bureaucrats to understand irony. A regulation created by the department of administration specifically exempts the department of administration. Makes you want to join the tea party or something.
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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby twincitizen » July 8th, 2013, 10:03 am

^^Ugh, I know. Unfortunately, exemption from zoning regulations seems like par for the course for all government facilities.

From the 2009 amendment to the Capitol Area Comp Plan: With the introduction of the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Line, the areas along University Avenue between Marion Street and Cedar Street (as well as the Sears Block) have the potential to be transformed into a complete and healthy community with vibrant public spaces, a diverse mix of land uses, higher densities, and attractive buildings framing lively, pedestrian-friendly streets.

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 8th, 2013, 10:26 am

^^ When in reality, public institutions/buildings should be the ones leading the way on urban design...

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby Nathaniel » July 9th, 2013, 8:39 am

redisciple wrote:Good catch, Fishmanpet. One of the great tragedies of human existence is the inability of the vast majority of bureaucrats to understand irony. A regulation created by the department of administration specifically exempts the department of administration. Makes you want to join the tea party or something.
Holy s***. Wow.

I'm disappointed I didn't jump into this conversation earlier.

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby gpete » July 18th, 2013, 1:10 pm

Some new information is out about the Senate Office Building. Looks like there are two potential sites being considered: 1) the parking lot north of the Capitol, and 2) the SE corner of Rice and University (adjacent to the State Office Building on current flat lot).

The way the two parcels are scored in the preliminary pre-design document, it looks like the site on Rice/University might be favored.

Here is the preliminary pre-design document from the State. It contains some background info and explains what the State is looking for in a proposal. http://www.admin.state.mn.us/recs/docs/ ... _Final.pdf

By the way, there's no discussion about having street-level retail in the new building.

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby twincitizen » August 19th, 2013, 2:32 pm

This building has been placed on hold, albeit temporarily.

Now would be the time to contact the committee members mentioned in this article, particularly Erin Murphy of St. Paul, if you care about the urbanity of this intersection and development potential around the LRT station.

http://www.startribune.com/politics/sta ... 25421.html

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby minnyapple » September 23rd, 2013, 3:49 pm

Mortenson, BWBR picked for legislative building project that will be four-story tall, 154,700-square-ft.

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/b ... lding.html

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby twincitizen » November 1st, 2013, 7:37 am

http://finance-commerce.com/2013/10/for ... -building/

Lawsuit to stop new Senate office building. I can't say I disagree. The way it was snuck into the tax bill at the last minute (rather than the bonding bill) was pretty shady. Also, there's the whole conversation about if it's really needed and how much should it cost, that wasn't done in front of the public. There's also the whole larger conversation that Minnesota needs to have about possibly shrinking the size of the Senate (largest upper body in the nation) to be more in line with our peers. This thing was rushed through and should probably be reconsidered. The City of St. Paul needs to stand up for urbanism as well and make sure they don't get a giant parking ramp across from the Rice St. LRT Station.

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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby lordmoke » November 20th, 2013, 4:38 pm


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woofner
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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby woofner » November 20th, 2013, 5:00 pm

The article has a scribd pdf with lots of details. No retail on Rice St. Democracy in action.
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Re: New Senate office building (St. Paul Capitol Hill)

Postby lordmoke » December 23rd, 2013, 1:41 pm

I'm not super thrilled with the design for this, but it's not terrible (see renderings in article). The legal battle might get interesting:
http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy ... ct-gearing


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