Planning for Allianz Field and the surrounding area moved forward on Wednesday, when the St. Paul City Council approved infrastructure upgrades.
The future home of Minnesota United FC, Allianz Field is being envisioned as part of a larger redevelopment plan in St. Paul’s Midway Neighborhood. One of the key pieces of the development is an area billed as the Great Lawn, a 2/3-acre green space that will be a privately-maintained public area located outside of the stadium.
Funding for the Great Lawn was one of the issues on the docket on Wednesday, when the St. Paul City Council considered whether to commit to a series of infrastructure plans at the site. Ultimately, the council approved a funding package that allows several projects–including the Great Lawn–to move forward. More from The Pioneer Press:
In St. Paul’s Midway, a new 2/3-acre “Great Lawn” park, three new city blocks and one of the largest shared storm water systems in the nation will be built next year between the McDonald’s restaurant that sits along University Avenue and the northern edge of a future professional soccer stadium.
After almost two hours of discussion, a divided St. Paul City Council voted 4-3 Wednesday night to approve roughly $4 million in new infrastructure improvements within the Midway Shopping Center north of Shields Avenue. About half that money represents new public funding that had not previously been budgeted.
Together with the $200 million Minnesota United stadium, “this is probably the biggest investment outside of downtown,” said council member Dai Thao, who represents the Midway. He joined Russ Stark, Chris Tolbert and Amy Brendmoen in supporting the proposal. “This is a short-term investment for much bigger long-term gain.”
As part of the vote, the council approved a $5 million shared storm water district–$3 million had previously been budgeted–along with $250,000 in funds for the Great Lawn, and funds for other various infrastructure improvements. United FC is privately financing Allianz Field at a cost of $200 million, but the city council last year approved funds for expenses relating to the project, including $16.1 million for infrastructure upgrades and $2 million for environmental cleanup. The stadium is slated to open in 2019.
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