Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

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Nathan
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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby Nathan » April 24th, 2017, 10:35 pm

Thank you Karen, great info, lets hope it all goes as such, sounds lounge a great new neighborhood for stp!

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby karen nelson » May 5th, 2017, 4:08 pm

to this questions - "What was the source for the City acquisition?" The Saint Anthony Community Council posted it to their website. Sort of surprised there hasn't been a more formal announcement or newspaper coverage, but I suspect when they get street grid design and park layout better fleshed out, there will be a fanfare announcement.

At the community meeting, the design firm UDA hired by the City did some great illustrations of the trail ideas etc, I guess this sort of stuff is good for finding future funding.

The park land I'm guessing was bought from park funds that are collected from all developers that don't provide park land as part of their development - I think its a standard fee for development in the city.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby Didier » May 15th, 2017, 4:23 pm


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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby seanrichardryan » May 16th, 2017, 1:51 pm

Nice job of preserving the surface parking. I also really like the lack of and E-W road connection through the site. All that space and just 300 units of housing. Bravo.
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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby mamundsen » May 16th, 2017, 2:03 pm

seanrichardryan wrote:
May 16th, 2017, 1:51 pm
Nice job of preserving the surface parking. I also really like the lack of and E-W road connection through the site. All that space and just 300 units of housing. Bravo.
The Sunrise parking is preserved because it is the potential site for a 2nd Sunrise Bank building.
It's 360 new units with 2 other potential future sites for Market Rate apartments. I didn't see a number for these but I'd guess at least 100 each pushing the total closer to 600 new units.

The Parking in the NE corner should be split up into 2-4 developable sites. I'm sure it will be eventually.

Otherwise... I like that there is a new park and better streetscape.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby BoredAgain » May 16th, 2017, 2:10 pm

Didier wrote:
May 15th, 2017, 4:23 pm
A bunch of stuff

https://www.stpaul.gov/sites/default/fi ... 8Lo%29.pdf
I was really confused as to why they were planning to build a block of single family homes in the middle. Then I realized that it is already there and they are building around it. Then I was confused why there is a block of single family homes in the middle of an an industrial area and I thought about how the property value for those homes is going to skyrocket and everyone is going to complain about gentrification.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby cond8147 » May 17th, 2017, 7:57 am

seanrichardryan wrote:
May 16th, 2017, 1:51 pm
Nice job of preserving the surface parking. I also really like the lack of and E-W road connection through the site. All that space and just 300 units of housing. Bravo.
I'm not really sure what you are talking about. The property that is being redeveloped has Myrtle Ave (aka Sharon Ave) going fully across it. That's about as good as you could expect. Also, there's no surface parking currently on the site and it looks like their long term plans don't show very much of it.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby Didier » June 14th, 2017, 9:26 pm

Workers appear to be removing the train track across Franklin today.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby Didier » November 1st, 2017, 7:26 am


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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby jtoemke » November 1st, 2017, 7:53 am

Maybe its just me but I just get an error page with that link

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby Anondson » November 1st, 2017, 7:58 am

“MissingKeyMissing Key-Pair-Id query parameter or cookie value”

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby Didier » November 1st, 2017, 10:10 am

Sorry -- the PDF was posted into nextdoor.com so not sure where it originally lives.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby DanB » November 1st, 2017, 11:27 am

Link to PDF: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzeukL ... sp=sharing
From the nextdoor post:
Dominion will be presenting their plans for the north portion of the former Weyerhaeuser site (south of Franklin) at the St. Anthony Park Community Council - Land Use Committee meeting Thurs evening. The meeting starts at 7 pm, at Jennings Community School (2455 University Ave. W.)
Design does look improved IMO over earlier versions which consisted of 3 block long parallel buildings if i remember correctly. I wish the primary entrances were closer to Franklin though.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby karen nelson » November 1st, 2017, 12:51 pm

I'm the one that posted in Nextdoor and have been working with SAPCC Land Use Committee working group on this.

The original plans for the site involved just one acre park land, not contiguous (parceled up on site). The City, with pushes from neighborhood input, got a 2+ acre park on this site, that is all connected and with one acre of it as a fairly, normal, flat rectangular chunk of land that will be surrounded by city streets (so it feels like a public park) plus a curved section of parkland that runs along abandon RR tracks alignment as a potential trail/path (that could possibly connect to Wabash and Pelham bike path via old RR bridge overpass of 280). City also got street grid re-established with new Myrtle going in east west, (basically aligned with Sharon Ave that's on the Mpls side) and got Berry extended to the south two blocks. So that is much better than this whole site being monolithic buildings with no connections to rest of neighborhood or some development that lacked street grid like, say, the buildings just north Westgate station.

Once the park layout and street grid was agreed to, I think Dominion's instinct was build the the Senior Housing on the one northern block between Franklin, new Myrtle, new Berry and Emerald as one big monolithic building with private greenspace cut off from neighborhood similar to 808 Berry. They did modify the building foot print layout from their original plans by breaking up these long buildings some along both the Berry and Emerald but stuck with all-residential, four-story plan. Also, this plan has no surface parking lot beyond the street grid parking that is created, it is all underground.

This development includes affordable workforce/family housing and affordable, senior +62 housing.

I'm new to this process so not sure what leverage the City had with Dominion and how well it was used, as this development is not really in need of variances and Dominion does bring something the City dearly wants, some affordable housing units. (Of course, its the type that expires in 15 years which is already happening on housing near Raymond Green Line station.)

A lot of early morning meetings between the neighborhood reps (from SAP and Prospect Park), Dominion and their design staff occurred over the last year, with a few dust-ups...and much work also went into city's negotiation for the park and street grid. City also arranged and got funding for a very well organized gathering of the community and the developers in the area to discuss plans for the park and streets - that include ideas like making the section of Berry that will run along park more of a street/plaza at park grade that could be closed off for park events.

If you think this is a disappointment of a development given this location and our times, I would heartily agree - when I looked at what the Met Council recently gave grants for, for other LRT station area developments - there was so much more vision, better urban design in those proposals, even the ones in suburbs, than this Dominion development.

However, given where this was at a year and half ago, with Dominion owning the land and not needing much from the City to proceed and basically saying No to what they neighborhood was asking for, I do think we have made decent progress. From what I understood St. Paul had been saying for some time they couldn't handle any new park lands, but the City made it happen here.

I do think the change-over of these old industrial sites in St. Paul has been a missed opportunity to date but could be great opportunity in future to do much better with our urban design and ensure and good mix of spaces for jobs, residential supply, and street life, green space. Not sure how we can better guide such development (short of buying the land ourselves) but hope we can find a way.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby karen nelson » November 1st, 2017, 1:11 pm

FYI, for some background- when one of they SAPCC committee members expressed their disappointment in Dominion's plans, the St. Paul City planner responded with this:

"In my nine years in PED it has been extremely rare for us to be able to acquire new right of way and park space as part of a development project. Often the timing does not work in terms of funding, or one of the parties is not interested, or we can only agree to some public improvements at some point in the future. Other than the soccer stadium, which is an outlier, I cannot think of another project where we have been able to gain this much public infrastructure investment within this timeframe. A key reason why this is happening is because of all the work you and the rest of the group have put into it. Another reason is Dominium’s flexibility in reevaluating and adjusting their overall plan as we have moved forward. I know that no one has gotten everything they have wanted but, to date, I see this process/project as a success.
 
From an urban design perspective, I think the new streets and park will do a lot to break up the site and make it walkable. I think Dominium has also made several improvements to the buildings to break up the architecture and make it more interesting for pedestrians. Having several four-story buildings in close proximity may be a bit monotonous, but I think that scale is still a human scale and appropriate to the width of the street. "

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby ProspectPete » November 2nd, 2017, 8:53 am

I don´t see any street level retail in the plans. That´s a pity. If there was just one storefront that could hopefully become a neighborhood coffee shop, that would greatly enhance the experience of living there. Especially for senior citizens, who often don´t have an opportunity to interact with other age demographics as much as they´d like to.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby alexschief » November 2nd, 2017, 10:13 am

This project isn't the greatest project ever, but it's definitely not bad. There's a good deal more land to the south for further development, and what looks like 300+ units, heavily affordable, adjacent to a wealthy part of town and close to excellent transit is nothing to discount here.

The architecture is pretty generic, but that's to be expected. It is a bit disappointing to not see small retail space on Franklin Ave, but there are similar retail spaces nearby on University Ave that do not have a great track record of staying full and will welcome the new density just a block away.

Would it be great to have a fifth or sixth story? Yeah. But it doesn't need that to be a really positive addition to Saint Paul and yet another sneaky increase in density in this area, where just driving or riding on University Ave, you might not expect it at all.

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby RailBaronYarr » November 2nd, 2017, 10:57 am

I might break from those who think the street presence isn't great. Maybe the renderings are masking how awful the materials might be, but more important to me is the somewhat neat addition of the stacked balconies along all elevations, with the lowest of each also being an entrance. Feels somewhat like a Boston Triple Decker built into a 4-story apartment facade. The SW courtyard/parking opening is a bit large, but I dunno, not a deal breaker for me.

While I agree that LRT-adjacent developments on the Minneapolis side of the border have taken better advantage of height/bulk, the difference between what we're seeing here and what could theoretically be built if they went taller/denser is maybe a hundred units or so? I'm a fan of "both and" but the fact that the SFH zone of Prospect Park to the west is so protected is the bigger policy issue here. There's obvious demand for more housing within walking distance of the LRT stations (PP and Westgate), and not just immediately adjacent to University Ave.

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Re: RE: Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby Serafina » November 3rd, 2017, 5:11 am

karen nelson wrote:I'm the one that posted in Nextdoor and have been working with SAPCC Land Use Committee working group on this.

The original plans for the site involved just one acre park land, not contiguous (parceled up on site). The City, with pushes from neighborhood input, got a 2+ acre park on this site, that is all connected and with one acre of it as a fairly, normal, flat rectangular chunk of land that will be surrounded by city streets (so it feels like a public park) plus a curved section of parkland that runs along abandon RR tracks alignment as a potential trail/path (that could possibly connect to Wabash and Pelham bike path via old RR bridge overpass of 280). City also got street grid re-established with new Myrtle going in east west, (basically aligned with Sharon Ave that's on the Mpls side) and got Berry extended to the south two blocks. So that is much better than this whole site being monolithic buildings with no connections to rest of neighborhood or some development that lacked street grid like, say, the buildings just north Westgate station.

Once the park layout and street grid was agreed to, I think Dominion's instinct was build the the Senior Housing on the one northern block between Franklin, new Myrtle, new Berry and Emerald as one big monolithic building with private greenspace cut off from neighborhood similar to 808 Berry. They did modify the building foot print layout from their original plans by breaking up these long buildings some along both the Berry and Emerald but stuck with all-residential, four-story plan. Also, this plan has no surface parking lot beyond the street grid parking that is created, it is all underground.

This development includes affordable workforce/family housing and affordable, senior +62 housing.

I'm new to this process so not sure what leverage the City had with Dominion and how well it was used, as this development is not really in need of variances and Dominion does bring something the City dearly wants, some affordable housing units. (Of course, its the type that expires in 15 years which is already happening on housing near Raymond Green Line station.)

A lot of early morning meetings between the neighborhood reps (from SAP and Prospect Park), Dominion and their design staff occurred over the last year, with a few dust-ups...and much work also went into city's negotiation for the park and street grid. City also arranged and got funding for a very well organized gathering of the community and the developers in the area to discuss plans for the park and streets - that include ideas like making the section of Berry that will run along park more of a street/plaza at park grade that could be closed off for park events.

If you think this is a disappointment of a development given this location and our times, I would heartily agree - when I looked at what the Met Council recently gave grants for, for other LRT station area developments - there was so much more vision, better urban design in those proposals, even the ones in suburbs, than this Dominion development.

However, given where this was at a year and half ago, with Dominion owning the land and not needing much from the City to proceed and basically saying No to what they neighborhood was asking for, I do think we have made decent progress. From what I understood St. Paul had been saying for some time they couldn't handle any new park lands, but the City made it happen here.

I do think the change-over of these old industrial sites in St. Paul has been a missed opportunity to date but could be great opportunity in future to do much better with our urban design and ensure and good mix of spaces for jobs, residential supply, and street life, green space. Not sure how we can better guide such development (short of buying the land ourselves) but hope we can find a way.
Thanks, Karen, for the update and the description of how this current plan has unfolded. My Prospect Park neighbors really wanted some retail, but this is so much better than the original plans.

What else I find kind of sad is the huge, largely unused surface lot at Sunrise adjacent to this site. Do you know if there are other plans in the works there?

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Re: Weyerhaueser site redevelopment - 700 Emerald St

Postby karen nelson » November 7th, 2017, 1:50 pm

My understanding is that Sunrise Bank plans to build a second office building at that same site in next few years. They participated in the park community meeting/charrette sort of thing the City of St. Paul organized with some help from others - it was run by the design firm UDA. At that meeting, Sunrise said they had firm plans to add another office building and UDA suggested to them as an L-shaped footprint at the northwest corner of their site - which would break up parking, and may give building some opportunity to have some street level opening towards that park. We made all kinds of suggestions about perhaps having a small branch and community room or even small leased out retail space there. Who knows what will come of it but my impression is Sunrise Bank at this point is interested in community and doing well by the neighborhood. They have a community room in the existing office building.

There has also been some attempts to get storm water collection in this area combined/shared and underground, say, under the park, so perhaps the area of Sunrise' detention pond could be repurposed but its lots of moving pieces that have to come together quickly.

We don't know what Dominion wants to do with the rest of Weyerhauser site south of the new park - it seems they will likely hold onto it, not sell, but I don't think they are actively working on those plans until they get further along with this project. I suspect it may be taller residential that they are considering.

There is a bouldering (climbing) gym Vertical Endeavors going into leased space south of Weyerhauser site - along 94 frontage road and Case warehouses (to the east of Sunrise, on 280 frontage) are trying to attract tenants there (probably mostly offices) - maybe yet another brewery has been rumored. If that all happens, some street level retail/food spaces in the center of this would likely be more sustainable, appealing to developers.


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