Former West Publishing / County Jail development site

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Wedgeguy
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Wedgeguy » September 11th, 2013, 6:57 pm

woofner wrote:What's wrong with the three-block park between Wabasha & Robert?

Not that I disagree with the idea of bluff-top plazas on the county parcels, but I'm surprised to hear that St Paul is hurting for scenic views. It's missing a lot of things, but a view ain't one.
In all honesty, I had forgotten that park all together. I will say that I love it around the holidays when they decorate all the trees and pines trees with white and colored lights. But like the proposed library block park in MPLS, there is little to draw people to that park compared to Rice and Mears that have major foot traffic due to housing and events. Other than the Old Radisson Hotel there is nothing that has a real front door traffic generator of foot traffic thru there. The fact that it is part of the bluff is both a blessing (visually) and a curse, (Not part of any activity node). If St. Paul were to bookend the park with residential buildings, there then would be a captive audience for that parks use. Again the area where the old West Publishing Building is needs to be brock up and not developed like the MPLS Post Office that is cuts off view to the river and the rest of St. Paul. I know as much as we hate parking ramps, but that is a possibility for supporting Residential, Office and stepped down park to the lower landing. that would have a street presence to Kellogg.

gcm
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby gcm » May 31st, 2015, 11:45 am

Considering that it'll cost $13m to demolish the current buildings, how does $150m in development sound? I think developments like the Vikings stadium has distorted my gauge of the size of developments.
Based on a formal analysis conducted for the county, Ramsey County officials are hopeful the riverfront properties can accommodate more than $150 million in private development.
http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_ ... sey-county

Wedgeguy
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Wedgeguy » May 31st, 2015, 1:45 pm

A lot of the cost of demolition is both hauling away and shoring up the bluff after the buildings come down. Plus the buildings cover a minimum of 2 blocks. Plus you only see 2 stories on the Kellogg level, but there are 5to 6 levels that cascade down the block. The Jail portion is poured heavily reinforce concrete that will take the longest to slowly chisel apart. This is not a small project in any form what so ever. Would be curious as to how many leasable SF that West Publishing did hold.

mattaudio
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby mattaudio » June 1st, 2015, 8:42 am

While I realize some of it, especially the jail, needs to come down... Some of these buildings are over a century old. It's sad we're doing wholesale urban renewal-style clearing of this site.

There used to be actual "downtown" south of Kellogg. Here's a photo from MNHS entitled Demolition of buildings on Third Street, now Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.
Image

acs
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby acs » June 1st, 2015, 8:50 am

I agree with Matt here. I really hope this is a one-time thing for St. Paul and they don't get the demo bug like Minneapolis did. As a Minneapolitan, one of the things that makes St. Paul unique and cool are the many preserved old buildings and a relative lack of surface lots downtown. Yes, I know that many of those buildings are mostly vacant and it's really sad to see some of them converted to parking. I just would hate to see Ramsey county and St. Paul make the same mistakes as Minneapolis did 50 years ago because I think DT St. Paul has better urbanism overall than DT Minneapolis.

mattaudio
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby mattaudio » June 1st, 2015, 8:53 am

Well, they did make plenty of those mistakes... hotspots include 7 Corners, the "midcentury moat" between Wabasha and Jackson, the old hills north of lowertown, and much around the Capitol (it wasn't the Sears Corp that clearcut a zillion acres for their parking lot).

acs
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby acs » June 1st, 2015, 2:08 pm

Speaking of development in this area, would it ever be possible to develop the long lot further east below the bluff? The one between Wabasha and Robert streets but keeping it below the bluff so as to preserve the view from the Kellogg Mall park?

Wedgeguy
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Wedgeguy » June 1st, 2015, 4:05 pm

acs wrote:Speaking of development in this area, would it ever be possible to develop the long lot further east below the bluff? The one between Wabasha and Robert streets but keeping it below the bluff so as to preserve the view from the Kellogg Mall park?
Look at a map, there is a street that goes from Near Wabasha to Shepard Road that goes down that bluff. and little of any real development room from there to the road once you get to the bottom of the road.

acs
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby acs » June 1st, 2015, 4:23 pm

Why exactly would that preclude a development below the bluff? A building would cover the open side of the 2nd street causeway and Kellogg bridges, leaving a tunnel. Would a building really need to be anchored to the bluff all the way to the top?

Wedgeguy
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Wedgeguy » June 1st, 2015, 5:35 pm

Probably because a majority of the bluff in the Midwest are made of very unstable stone that can wash away over the natural course of erosion. You would have to build some very deep piles to get the stability to resist the course of natural that it is to pull the bluff down to the lower ground. Ask bluff owner in EP whose houses are sliding off the bluff!!

ProspectPete
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby ProspectPete » June 3rd, 2015, 12:03 pm

My only hope is that the powers that be are thinking about the transit opportunity that exists here. I hope that they at least consider having a vertical connection to a possible Riverview Corridor (leaving SPUD along the Ford Spur) at Wabasha or St Peter . It would be the stop across the street at from City Hall and very near Rice Park-Ordway-River Center. It would be great in the sense that that entertainment district part of St Paul would then be served by LRT and even the new housing across the River on the West Side Flats would be within walking distance of and LRT stop.
When I say vertical connection I guess I am thinking something similar to the Lake Street Stop on the Blue Line.
There was also some talk about having a riverwalk balcony built from the Science Museum all the way to Wabasha.
I just hope they keep this in mind.

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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Mikey » September 2nd, 2015, 7:43 am

They started ripping off the Shepard Rd side of the old jail last week - progress has been very slow
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Wedgeguy
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Wedgeguy » September 2nd, 2015, 9:36 am

Mikey wrote:They started ripping off the Shepard Rd side of the old jail last week - progress has been very slow
You are dealing with heavy duty reinforced concrete that is probably also has more than a few extra inches thick for security. It will probably take less time to bring down the West buildings than it takes to bring down the jail. A foot note. The jail and the Wabasha bridge are kind of tied together with tied in reinforcements. So they have to be careful once they get to that portion of the building and reinforcement.

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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Wedgeguy » September 17th, 2015, 9:07 am

Looks like little has been demolished with the Jain or West buildings that I could see from my vantage point of my walk yesterday. What is happening is they are tearing up Kellogg and what looks like a service tunnel for the Heating and cooling plant pipes. I could be wrong, at first I though they were doing some kind of road, but then walking west I got the idea that this is part of an upgrade to the steam and cooling system. I thought in the past year they talked about adding some mre area to the district heating and cooling.

BTW having Kellogg closed has given St. Paul their own traffic nightmares.

mamundsen
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby mamundsen » September 17th, 2015, 9:26 am

Kellogg Blvd is actually a bridge along most of this stretch. They are reconstructing the bridge. From the below link:

More than 80 years after its construction, the City of Saint Paul Public Works Department is reconstructing bridges along Kellogg Boulevard from Market Street to Wabasha Street. The $12 million construction project will begin on April 1 and last through November 2015

http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=5390

I think you can see more of the demolition of the jail and West Publishing from Shepard Rd. It will be a slow process.

Wedgeguy
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Wedgeguy » September 17th, 2015, 9:33 am

mamundsen wrote:Kellogg Blvd is actually a bridge along most of this stretch. They are reconstructing the bridge. From the below link:

More than 80 years after its construction, the City of Saint Paul Public Works Department is reconstructing bridges along Kellogg Boulevard from Market Street to Wabasha Street. The $12 million construction project will begin on April 1 and last through November 2015

http://www.stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=5390

I think you can see more of the demolition of the jail and West Publishing from Shepard Rd. It will be a slow process.
Thanks you for that clarification, Then that makes for sense. I would have had to walked across Wabasha bridge to Raspberry Island to see the lower levels along Shepard Road. So thanks for updating us on the demolition progress.

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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby bptenor » September 17th, 2015, 10:33 am

I believe they are demolishing the buildings more from the inside out, and building the retaining wall along the bluff while the buildings come down. I don't think we'll see exterior major demolition until demolition is alms complete.

Wedgeguy
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Wedgeguy » September 17th, 2015, 10:46 am

bptenor wrote:I believe they are demolishing the buildings more from the inside out, and building the retaining wall along the bluff while the buildings come down. I don't think we'll see exterior major demolition until demolition is alms complete.
I'm sure that there are lead and asbestos abatement work that have to be taken care of before they start tearing the whole structure down. But I had thought that they were working to dismantle the old jail first.

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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Mikey » September 17th, 2015, 1:26 pm

They have punched holes through each level of the jail and seem to be pushing material out of them. I'm assuming it's the concrete interior. I did notice a hole on the back side of the West buildings this morning.

Yes, going south out of downtown St Paul is a nightmare right now. Besides Kellogg, Wabasha Bridge is closed, and Lafayette is one lane southbound - plus with the ramps from 35E and 94 closed, everyone is getting off on East 7th and using that to get back to Hwy 52. It was reaaally bad last month when the intersection of Kellogg and Jackson was basically closed in front of the old Post Office
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Re: Possible demolition of West Publishing / old jail

Postby Mikey » February 9th, 2016, 12:07 pm

Not much left of the jail now. Mostly just the wall against Kellogg. You can even see the back side of the Wabasha bridge's apron wall
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