Welcome to Raising St. Paul, a new online site dedicated to public input on development topics related to Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Friday, March 16, 2012

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Dottie Johnson said...

The Saint Paul Saints are a unique team and deserve a better stadium and a better setting than they have had all these many years. And to incorporate an Amphitheater and Velodrome would surely draw a lot of people eager for an exciting experience. Count me in as one who would love to join the crowd.
Dottie -- Cathedral Hill

Downtown Business Owner said...

What a great concept! I like the idea of more businesses downtown that can add jobs, create a larger tax base and attract people to the City year round.

Cynthia Schanno (who calls Upper Landing home) said...

Hello City Hall... We have a lot of talent in our city and "they" have much to offer, hope you guys are listening and you too see the magic in saving a building and creating a multiple-use facility we can all enjoy year round. What I love most is how beautiful this plan is. This concept brings a whole new meaning to "Stubbornly Local." Have my fingers crossed "this" ballpark becomes a part of the Saint Paul skyline soon!

Pat and Jo from W. 7th. St. said...

From Mounds Park you can see all forms of transportation" planes, helicopters, freight trains, passenger trains, boats, barges, bikes, cars, trucks... the list goes on. There used to be a plaque up there stating this. From the roof of this proposed ballpark, amphitheater combination we could have the same experience.

Anonymous said...

A velodrome? Had no idea what that was until reading this. I'll just be happy if we can get a baseball stadium down there. Focus on making it world class, so that they can host the college World Series. THAT would be awesome.

Betsy Turner - Grand Avenue, Saint Paul said...

You are doing well to push this idea… it sounds fantastic, and it's a very upscale and practical design for the existing Gillette building and surrounding area! Keep up with this good idea!

Jim Buscher said...

Interesting, but unrealistic. St. Paul is having enough trouble getting funding for just the ballpark. What would the cost be for these additions? Probably several million is my guess. Is the MetCouncil and MetroTransit on board? They're the ones using the O&M building after all.

I'll chalk this one up as another Bill Hosko pie in the sky idea.

Anonymous said...

Just read today's Pioneer Press article.
A better researched article would have stated that many residents of the Lowertown community, including artists, believe Hosko may be on to something here. It creates a year around facility that embraces and merges art and sports, is "green" in that it utilizes existing infrastructure and mitigates pollution issues, provides year around employment, and actually creates an better weighted "bookend" to the west side of downtown.

Bill Hosko said...

Jim, Sorry you are having a bad day... If you would read the presentation, the Velodrome is a phase two concept, no mention of using taxpayer dollars as well. Yes, the Metropolitan Council is aware of the idea, and said no thank you because the building was not designed for the load.

However, if Saint Paul once built the Cathedral we can surely understand structure enough a century later to construct a Velodrome facility over the existing CCLRT facility, and do so without taxpayer dollars.

'Anonymous' is correct the PPress article was poorly written by Mr. Melo.

Pat Driscoll said...

Jim Buscher said; Interesting, but unrealistic.

I don't know who Jim Buscher is but I don't think that he has attended any of the informational
meeting that Bill Hosko has held.

It's the mindset of people like this that have led downtown Saint Paul to look like a runner up to Detroit. All they can do is say " I don't think this will work so don't bother me with details"

Take a look at downtown Saint Paul and then at Minneapolis. Minneapolis say's "we can give this a shot and make it work" Saint Paul says "it's unrealistic, lets just skip it".

Pat Driscoll, West 7th. St.

Jim Buscher said...

I'm having a great day Bill. Why would you assume otherwise just because I don't agree with your idea? I think this is a hare brained idea. Nothing personal.

The amenity of a velodrome may have merit for the city. But this is an unrealistic and overly expensive site. There are plenty of underutilized sites scattered around St. Paul for a velodrome. The top of a maintenance building for light rail trains? I just can't picture young kids and families on top of it. And why spend millions reinforcing the roof of a building and rearranging all its scattered mechanical equipment to put a racetrack and seating on top? It can be done much cheaper on level ground. There is plenty of land east of the ballpark site, or on the south side of Kellogg Blvd east of the Union Depot, all the way past the Lafayette bridge.

You're proposing an overly expensive and complicated building site when there is plenty of cheap and easy land to develop on a stones throw away.

Dottie Johnson said...

If the Pioneer Press would just do an informational story on the concept Mr. Hosko has put together, the public would have a chance to see the benefit of it.
There appears to be a lot of interest. Let your readers in on the story. You are Saint Paul's paper.

Bill Hosko said...

Jim B. please be more respectful of this site.

The 'indoor' Velodrome is a 'phase two' concept. Placing it above the CCLRT facility will not disrupt operations there and will save millions in construction costs over another location. Also, it can then utilize the seasonal and year-round amenities found in the attached Ballpark - Amphitheatre complex.

Most of us can agree that the public deserves the right to hear facts for and against the 'phase one' Ballpark - Amphitheater concept and to help decide what is best for Saint Paul and Lowertown.

If there is an open and fair process, the public and our leadership will come to the right decision.

Jim Buscher said...

Bill, I think you're greatly under estimating the costs and disruptions of a rooftop-enclosed facility on top of the O&Mbuilding. Adding the necessary steel and concrete for your idea is going to disrupt operations inside. A simpler building at ground level along Kellogg blvd or east of the ballpark is so much simpler. Putting it on top of the maintenance building is unnecessarily extravagant.

If posting views and opinions that are counter to what you'd like is disrespectful, then it appears you're not really interested in having an honest debate about your idea. Good luck to you.

Pat driscoll said...

Jim, If your idea of putting the velodrome on a lot instead of on top of the O&M building I would like to know how much time you have put into the research of this concept.
No buildings are allowed on the East side of the ballpark due to the airspace restrictions near the Airport. Also I would like to know how much parking space would be needed and how much space would be needed for the support places,(food, maint., office, etc.)
If you stop to think about it, all of these would be included in the muliti use ballpark as Bill Hosko had indicated, Also if this is to cost millions more, where are your figures on cost of rooftop as opposed to flatland development?

Bill Hosko said...

Pat Driscoll you are correct, the Velodrome cannot be built further east because of the airport 'safety zone'.

Because of the Velodrome interest look for more structural information on the next blog post.

Having the Phase Two Velodrome atop the OEM (which will not hinder CCLRT operations here), as part of a larger Ballpark- Amphitheater complex is absolutely the most cost effective and responsible place to locate it in Saint Paul.

Anonymous said...

Reading thru the posts Jim you've been acting like a cyberbully... its a turn-off to throw out name calling... "nothing personal"... then you say me? when someone calls you out on it... stick with the story and whether our politicains should be giving the people a chance to weigh in. Can any of us say the Saints would lose revenue with the dual purpose facility? Seems they may make more money. Would the city make money off the amphitheater? It all seems like they could.

Charles said...

Jim, Here is a basic rule of retail development, create as much traffic as possible. multi-use is good and Bill Hosko is a talent that seems to shock the current administration.
Your personal attack and opinions qualify you for a position in this administration, maybe working on a new concept for the Amsterdam Beer Hall a real gem for downtown development.

Betty from the Westside said...

Where is the can do attitude of this city? Why not have a Velodrome? Bike racing is fun to watch! Blaine is so far away. Why not look into it?
Why not have an amphitheater here?
Why only a ballpark? Why does Minneapolis, and Bloomington seem to have all the glory? We are Minnesota's Capital, we should assert ourselves more. Does anyone remember how busy downtown used to be? I remeber going down there when I was a kid, all the movie thetaers and stores, Bridgemans, Golden Rule, Emporium, Woolworths. Maybe we can't get it all back but we can do new things.

Betty from the Westside said...

Anotherthing is 50 million dollars is alot of money to spend. We should make sure we do the most we can with it. I understand the Velodrome can come later. The beautiful Catherdral was not built with tax money surely we could build the bike track with private contributions as well with the right spirit.

Bill Hosko in downtown said...

Amsterdam is finding its audience now. Its a younger crowd, some of the music acts are very good.

Betty did you know Woolworths is still making lease payments though they have been closed for over 20 years? The property may be receiving a redo on the outside.

Some believe the Gillette building is an unattractive building and not worthy of re-use. The skin of a building however, can be changed, sometimes with greater expense such as the Holiday Inn across from the Xcel. It used to feature a bland concrete facade when it was the Days Inn and Civic Center Inn before that.

With the Gillette building in contrast, its facade can be enhanced on a relatively small budget. Some early suggestions are in the BAV Centre (baseball, amphitheatre and velodrome) presentation.

Updated floorplans and a section view of how I suggest a Velodrome can perhaps be constructed over the CCLRT building will be up Tuesday.

Better yet, it would be a great thing if City and State leaders (being the CCLRT building is owned by the State) would allow a design competition. Area architects and architecture students could come up with their own suggestions.

Dottie Johnson said...

Re: The adoption of the Lowertown Master Plan. The Gillette building, along with providing space for the artists, could also provide an entertainment venue. Besides an indoor place to display and sell artwork, the building could house a number of beneficial amenities such as a play area for children; a restaurant; an area to sit and relax -- any number of things to cater to the crowd. I think this would encourage people to spend more time - and more money in downtown. This building is way too large to use just to display artwork.
The Saint Paul Saints have been hoping to have a new ballpark on that site. So why not have both? Perfect for the ballpark! The existing building is huge. So much can be done there.
The City may be losing downtown Macy's Department Store. The changes they are making don't instill much confidence that the store will survive. We better look for more to bring people downtown and provide a destination to keep them interested.

Patrick J. Driscoll said...

I think that for the city to consider anything other than a multi-use building, would be a theft of the taxpayer's money. With Artist showplaces, Cafes, Maybe Bill Hosko's idea of a mineture golf course on the roof, and a space to bring the Model Railroad museum back downtown, there should be no question as to the best use of the Gillette building and the taxpayers money.

Bob Grenier said...

My wife and I recently moved to St Paul from Illinois. We purchased a condo in Lowertown. We love the neighborhood and hope it continues to develop and thrive. We were very excited to hear about plans for the Saints ballpark. However, when we heard Hosko's proposal we were even more excited. It makes sense to have facilities that would be used all year rather than just a ballpark used for 4 or 5 months. I hope the mayor and council are listening.

Patrick J Driscoll said...

All I want to see is a commitment from Mayor Coleman, saying that there will be a chance for community involvement before any action is taken on the development of a downtown ballpark. This community input meeting should be well advertized in the Pioneer Press and community newspappers around Saint Paul.
The cities flyer on the ballpark stated that there would be community input for the final design. Why is the mayor saying he wants to break ground in August when I have seen no notice of a meeting or forum for community input?

Unknown said...

I am just wondering if we would want the outfield to face 94 instead of the river? I like the concept though.

Friends of Baseball, Biking and the Arts said...

The outfield can only face the river so to speak in a Gillette Building reuse plan.

Fans on the lower-level would have a view of the game, the northwest-north sky as well as some building and tree tops. Mid-level seating would allow more views of many nearby buildings and trees and across the freeway (I-94 is dug into the ground here), 35-E coming in from the north, distant bluff neighborhoods and wooded areas, the on-ramp traffic to the Lafayette Bridge, and the on-off-ramp traffic to I-94. Rooftop seating would allow a tremendous 360 view of downtown, the waterfront, Mounds Park, and even the Capital building.

The City's plans allows limited views: the 2 1/2 block long, 2 story north wall of the new CCLRT maintenance building to the south and the traffic going by on the Lafayette Bridge above and just to the east. Note; the City's current site plan shows buildings just past outfield, this blocks any view fans might have of the fenced in CCLRT train yard, surface parking, Lafayette bridge storm-water retention pond and wooded areas beyond.

If you have not seen the video concerning these two choices, be sure to find the link just above.

Anonymous said...

Saint Paul is a really boring place. Just go to Minneapolis, Seattle or Portland to see truly vibrant cities. Saint Paul is actually shrinking and falling further and further behind in almost every regard. Saint Paul is not a world class city. Nor is Saint Paul anywhere near "cool". The need for the mayor to say it is proves it isn't? Have you been out on the weekends here? It is the most boring city I have ever lived in. Where are the young people, the hipsters, the art galleries, the cafes, bars and boutiques? Saint Paul is an abysmal place to do business. No light rail or minor league baseball stadium can stop this descent into further irrelevance. All the young people with skills and energy and dollars to spend already left. They started successful businesses in the aforementioned cities. Where they didn't need public dollars to support them! Saint Paul had its day and it has long since passed. Get out while the gettin's good!

raisingstpaul said...

Some tough words 'anonymous'... most people who are willing to look objectively at the way this city is being led, not only by politicians, but by the papers, would agree with much of what you wrote... Foster a provincial attitude on one hand while needing to beg for state and federal handouts with the other.

Saint Paul deserves better.
City Hall labels us 'America's most livable city'? Some say only insecure leadership would think of such a title.