Back to List

County enters negotiations with developer for Riverfront Properties in downtown Saint Paul

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners today authorized staff to enter negotiations with Cardon Development Group on a development agreement for Riverfront Properties. The proposed high-density development incorporates a mix of uses that will build on existing energy in downtown Saint Paul.

“We have been working for years to transform this riverfront property into an asset for our community,” said Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega, who represents the area. “We are excited to work with Cardon to turn this vacant property into a first-class development.”

Cardon’s proposed development, which will be further defined by a future market study, includes:

  • Four-star hotel with 200 rooms.
  • 300 market-rate housing units.
  • 60,000 square feet of office space.
  • 30,000 square feet of retail along Kellogg Boulevard.
  • 1,200 parking stalls which will support hotel, residential and office needs.
  • Public plaza allowing for vertical circulation to the riverfront along Shepard Road and connecting to the proposed River Balcony.

“One of Saint Paul’s greatest assets is the Mississippi River,” said Jonathan Sage-Martinson, director of the Department of Planning and Economic Development for the City of Saint Paul. “Redevelopment on this site will play an important role in further enhancing downtown vibrancy and embracing our position as a river city. This site allows us to connect our downtown community to one of Saint Paul’s most incredible natural landmarks, and I applaud Ramsey County for entering negotiations with a developer who shares that vision.”

“Over the past several years, a number of new projects – from the Green Line to Custom House to Oxbo at Seven Corners – have enhanced the vibrancy in Saint Paul,” said Joe Spartz, president of the Greater Saint Paul Building Owners and Managers Association. “I am excited to see the proposed development at Riverfront Properties come to life and build on this energy downtown.”

Riverfront Properties is a 4.77-acre site located at the southwest intersection of Wabasha Street and Kellogg Boulevard, overlooking the Mississippi River. Ramsey County funded the deconstruction and remediation of the former Adult Detention Center and the Ramsey County Government Center West buildings. The project – which includes completion of a retaining wall for bluff stabilization – is expected to be completed by August 2017.

"Redevelopment opportunities like Riverfront Properties – with its stunning location along the river bluff – do not come along very often, and we are committed to getting this project right,” said Don Cardon, CEO of Cardon Development Group. “We look forward to collaborating with Ramsey County on this transformative project.”

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Cardon Development Group is well-known for partnering with public entities on multi-disciplinary urban developments. Cardon’s development portfolio includes Cityscape, an $800 million, mixed-use development that spans two city blocks in downtown Phoenix; Aspera, a 75-acre commercial development in Glendale, Arizona; and the forthcoming conversion of the Sloulin Field Regional Airport in Williston, North Dakota, into a 900-acre mixed-use development after it is replaced with a new international airport.

Cardon will now enter into negotiations with Ramsey County on a development agreement for the site. The agreement is expected to be finalized in summer 2017. After the development agreement is finalized, Cardon with enter a pre-development stage, which will include conducting a market assessment and developing final plans for the site. Construction is anticipated to occur from 2018-2021.

Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 12:29 p.m.