PLACE brings hub to Park

Shops, hotels included with light rail addition

The+Metro+Transit+light+rail+pulls+into+Target+Field+Station+marking+its+way+to+the+Mall+of+America.+A+light+rail+station+will+be+built+at+Wooddale+in+2019.+
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PLACE brings hub to Park

The Metro Transit light rail pulls into Target Field Station marking its way to the Mall of America. A light rail station will be built at Wooddale in 2019.

The Metro Transit light rail pulls into Target Field Station marking its way to the Mall of America. A light rail station will be built at Wooddale in 2019.

Ella Hamerstrand

The Metro Transit light rail pulls into Target Field Station marking its way to the Mall of America. A light rail station will be built at Wooddale in 2019.

Ella Hamerstrand

Ella Hamerstrand

The Metro Transit light rail pulls into Target Field Station marking its way to the Mall of America. A light rail station will be built at Wooddale in 2019.

David Bryant and Atticus Raasch

As a supplement to the future Park light rail station, the city has partnered with PLACE developers to create a multi-use development building with apartment spaces, a hotel and various other shops, according to city planner Jennifer Monson.

“(The development) has 300 dwelling units, 110-unit hotel, a restaurant, coffee shop coworking space (and) a bike shop,” Monson said. “There’s an arts and transit plaza, which is located directly at the light rail station so it’s a really unique design. I think it’s the only (light rail station) that will have something directly at it, so it really provides a community asset to make that station a destination in the community.”

Junior Casey Kreie said the development will give general quality of life improvements to St. Louis Park.

“(PLACE) will bring new people into St. Louis Park and create new business along with easier access in and out of Minneapolis,” Kreie said.

Monson said a major proponent of the development is the idea that it will allow all citizens to have the opportunity to live at a more affordable price in St. Louis Park.

“The project brings a lot of affordable housing to SLP. This is something we’re always seeking, because we have a lot of really high housing costs,” Monson said. “Affordable housing is really how people like teachers, public servants and firefighters who want to live in St. Louis Park can live here.”

Kreie said the location of the development will allow easy access to all of its amenities such as the bike path and various stores.

“(PLACE’s) location is super convenient and will give some more people affordable and homey living,” Kreie said. “I just like the fact that all the stores are right on the bike trail so it will be very accessible for people on foot and bike.”

English teacher Christoph Nordmark said the development’s connection to the light rail will give residents an easier way to live and travel.

“I think the whole addition could give more people options to convenient and affordable living with its connection to the light rail and bike paths,” Nordmark said. “I could see myself using it a bit to get to downtown.”

According to Monson, the high cost of the development will allow for a high quality foundation making sure the area will be safe and habitable.

“The total project cost is something like $127 million. (PLACE) has received about $3 million in grants from the Met Council and Hennepin County,” Monson said. “A lot of that is for contamination cleanup. It makes the site for innovative and better for the community in general.”

Monson said although the cost is high, the city will not pay any money for the development, but rather cuts taxes for the property in order to aid PLACE in building in the city.

“The city doesn’t have any money in (the development), it’s all the developer. One of the things the city does to help developments in St. Louis Park is we have tax increments, which is a mechanism to help keep the taxes lower for a number of years,” Monson said. “It’s really an investment for the city. There’s zero risk the city takes with development like this.”

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