For some Midway neighborhood advocates, the most exciting aspect of St. Paul’s Allianz Field isn’t soccer. Even stadium skeptics longed for something sizable and attractive to replace the former Metro Transit bus storage lot south of the Midway Shopping Center and draw new housing and retail into the area. Some residents, city officials and business advocates believe the $250 million, 19,400-seat stadium provides that opportunity. Allianz Field will host its first home game for the Minnesota United soccer team on Saturday. RELATED: Minnesota United’s first practice at Allianz Field provides ‘a lift of morale’ “As you get a major project, it revitalizes the entire area,” said Scott Miller, commercial real estate agent with KW Commercial Premier, a division of Keller Williams International. “Of course there’s going to be opportunity. Nobody wants change, but change is inevitable. (Along the Green Line) the transformation has been … [Read more...] about Allianz Field is just the beginning. Here’s what’s happening — and hoped for — around St. Paul’s new soccer stadium.
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Two longstanding neighborhood bars in St. Paul’s Midway area — Big V’s Saloon and Hot Rods Bar and Grill — are coming under new ownership just in time for the debut season at Allianz Field. Tolch Properties bought the 1920s-era Ashton office building near Snelling and University avenues in St. Paul shortly before the Green Line rolled its first trains down the corridor, knowing the area was due for some changes. With Big V’s and Hot Rods sales closing in late February, Tolch will soon own most of the north side of the block between Snelling and Asbury streets under the title Midway Entertainment Group as well as the parking lots in back. Rather than dive bars and empty properties, it’s an area they’re hoping will soon be known for “Booze, Food and Fun.” “We’ve had a good run,” said Vic Masanz, who has run Big V’s with his wife Jeanne Masanz for nearly 40 years. “The stadium was coming in. The time was … [Read more...] about Big changes coming to Hot Rod’s Bar, Big V’s Saloon in St. Paul’s Midway
The elaborate bays, wings and bell tower of St. Andrew’s Church once anchored Hungarian and German festivals, welcoming generations of immigrant workers to the neighborhood south of St. Paul’s Como Lake. After nearly a century of weddings and baptisms inside its red-brick walls, the joyous noise went silent in 2011, when the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis merged the dwindling Catholic parish with another and deconsecrated the 1920s-era church building. After sitting vacant for two years, the structure reopened in the fall of 2013 as part of the Twin Cities German Immersion charter school. A gutted former sanctuary is now a gym. A basement fellowship hall serves as a cafeteria. While terracotta tiling remains, more than just the church interior has been altered. As of 2013, a new addition physically links the back of the former St. Andrew’s to the 1950s-era school building next door. The neighboring rectory was demolished when the school arrived. A … [Read more...] about German school’s quest to raze ‘landmark’ St. Paul church may fall to city council
In 1932, the Barker‒Karpis gang rented a house at 1031 South Robert Street in St. Paul, posing as a family of speakeasy musicians. Fred Barker and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, the gang’s principal members, had entered St. Paul, then a haven for criminals, after killing a Missouri sheriff. Other members included Fred’s brother Arthur (called Doc) and his mother, Kate (called Ma). Later that year, the gang robbed Minneapolis’s Third Northwestern Bank. While they emptied the vault, a teller activated an alarm, and two officers—Ira Evans and Leo Gorski— responded. The gang’s lookout, Larry DeVol, fired into their patrol car, killing Evans and wounding Gorski. A few months later, the gang planned the kidnapping of William Hamm Jr., president of Hamm’s Brewing Company. On June 15, 1933, Doc Barker and Charles “Fitz” Fitzgerald approached Hamm as he walked home for lunch. They wrestled him into Alvin Karpis’s car, placing … [Read more...] about Better than a gangster movie: The real-life exploits of St. Paul’s Barker-Karpis gang
Four towers supporting an open-air shelf that stretches across the upper levels of St. Paul’s downtown to the river’s edge: That’s the third and latest plan for Riverfront Properties. The proposed development, which would double the size of Ramsey County’s 6-acre project to include another 6 acres of airspace owned by the Canadian Pacific Railroad and the city of St. Paul, received largely positive feedback from Ramsey County’s board during a workshop Tuesday. The court board recommended that its staff begin negotiations with AECOM, a Los-Angeles-based developer with local offices, for the project, which has yet to produce a price tag. Over the next six months, county staff will work with the developer not only to come up with a price, but also to further explore the feasibility of the most ambitious proposal for the site to date. AECOM’s proposal beat out nine other developers, and three other finalists, after the county put out a call for plans … [Read more...] about This time, four towers, an open-air walk eyed for downtown St. Paul’s riverfront