More construction projects to watch in 2019.


Byline: Finance and Commerce Staff

Each December, the Finance & Commerce staff looks ahead to the major projects that will dominate headlines in the coming year. In the past, we've struggled to narrow the list down to 10. This year, we realized it's impossible. As the second-longest economic expansion on record continues, there are just too many big projects in the works worth highlighting.

Yesterday and today, we're reviewing 16 of the big developments that we'll be watching closely in 2019, from public infrastructure to downtown towers to entire suburban neighborhoods.

St. Paul Riverfront project (former West Publishing site)

Size: Four towers on a 5-acre site

Cost: $820 million to $900 million at full development

Owner/developer: Ramsey County/AECOM (presumed developer)

Expected completion: To be determined

Description: Construction at the Ramsey County-owned former West Publishing property in downtown St. Paul could be underway by the end of next year.

Los Angeles-based AECOM, the county's presumed developer, is going through a due diligence period with the county on the proposed three-phase, mixed-used redevelopment of the site, said Brian Dusek, AECOM managing principal.

Those talks will likely extend through the second quarter of next year and possibly into the third quarter, Dusek said. Dusek said he hopes to see some construction in late 2019, though that could "bleed into 2020," he said.

AECOM's vision for the site includes four towers with up to 400,000 square feet of office space, up to 350 Class A apartment units, 150 condo units, 250 hotel rooms, roughly 20,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and public spaces.

The 5-acre site at 50 W. Kellogg Blvd. sits atop a steep 80-foot bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. It once was the home of several county government buildings. West Publishing occupied the site until the early 1990s.

County officials have tried for years to find a higher and better use for the long-vacant site. The county spent $17 million on demolition and site preparation.

AECOM unveiled its plans to the County Board in November. At the meeting, the board directed the staff to begin negotiations on an exclusive six-month agreement withAECOMto perform "due diligence" on the proposal to develop the site.

Mall of America waterpark

Size: 250,000 square feet

Cost: Up to $250 million

Owner/developer: City of Bloomington/Triple Five Worldwide

Expected completion: 2021, pending approvals

Description: The proposed Mall of America waterpark could be in the ground as soon as late next year, but it remains to be seen if the megamall's next big attraction will advance from splashy drawings to actual construction.

"We are still working through due diligence and financial analysis and predesign for the project," Schane Rudlang, administrator of the Bloomington Port...

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