Since Hy-Vee scuttled plans for a West St. Paul location, the city made a purchase offer on the property, bringing preliminary proposed plans for the space one step closer to reality. On Monday, City Council reviewed conceptual plans for the former YMCA property that included housing, retail, and public park spaces.
“We cannot share details of the offer at this time,” said City Manager Nate Burkett in a statement confirming the purchase offer. “However, the offer we made would give the city the opportunity to ensure we obtain the public amenities and retail/restaurant the community has been asking for as well as minimize the city’s overall risk. Any agreement will eventually have to be approved by council once it has been worked out with HyVee.”
If the purchase offer is accepted by Hy-Vee, it would give the city control over development, something the city has not had in recent development projects, including the former Perkins and Baker’s Square. The project would still require an interested developer and potential retail and restaurants, none of which have been identified yet.
In other words, while this is one step closer—and it’s an important step—there’s a long way to go.
Those public amenities could include an open gathering space for concerts, a plaza, a pavilion restaurant, or an area to rent paddle boats. With the proximity to the River-to-River Greenway Trail, the Wentworth Library, and the planned watershed restoration project, this would be an ideal location for a central community gathering space.
After finalizing a deal to purchase the YMCA in late 2018, Hy-Vee changed plans and announced their intention not to build on the YMCA property in April 2022.
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