Over one hundred years ago James J. Hill and owners of thirteen separate railroad lines worked together to create the Minnesota Transfer Rail Yard on the intersection of Prior and University. This example of multiple business owners working together, in a spirit of enlightened self-interest, is the model for the Prior University Development Project. Across the street from the rail yard, over 20 property owners and stakeholders are working together to create a development plan that will enhance “the prosperity of all”.
This intersection, around the proposed Fairview LRT station, has an eclectic mix of commercial properties and is home to five non-profit entities including the YMCA, Goodwill Easter Seals, the Eritrean Center, Rebuild Resources, and Episcopal Homes (just across street to the south). It also includes Iris Park and Dickerman Park, the only public parks along the entire light rail line in St. Paul. Because the area is considerably underdeveloped, it has great potential for new mixed-use development that will bring jobs, housing, parks and open spaces, and shared parking.
This planning effort has been convened by University UNITED but will be managed as a business collaboration by the stakeholders themselves. Technical support will be provided by University UNITED, U-PLAN, and the Central Corridor Design Center. Additional technical support may come from within the Stakeholder Group, which includes a number of real estate professionals, as well as outside consultants who will be retained as needed.
A comprehensive development plan is now being created, which will be consistent with the St. Paul Central Corridor Development Strategy. The hope is to reach a general consensus on a development vision by the end of 2009, and to determine which owners and which parcels will be included. In 2010 the focus would shift to working out the business arrangements among the parties, clarifying the role of the public sector in implementing the infrastructure improvements, identifying funding strategies, and finalizing roles and responsibilities within the stakeholder group.
Prior+University History Exhibit
This exhibit, undertaken by the University Avenue History Group, in collaboration with the Ramsey County Historical Society, is the first in a series highlighting the history of key intersections along University Avenue. The exhibit is currently available for viewing at Landmark Center in Saint Paul.
An Overview of this project is provided here:
"Where the Twin Cities Meet"
For additional information visit:
or call 651/647.6711
The Prosperity of All
In Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville advised that capitalist societies in seeking individual personal gain should not “lose sight of the close connection which exists between the private fortune of each of them and the prosperity of all”.