City, Port announce land purchase for ballpar

City awaits funding from Department of Employment and Economic Development to begin construction

The Saint Paul Port Authority announced today that it has signed a purchase agreement to buy the old Diamond Products site / Gillette Building, the site of the future Lowertown Regional Ballpark. The Port Authority and the City of Saint Paul will discuss next steps regarding a land swap with Midway Stadium. The purchase of the site is a critical step forward to build the Lowertown Regional Ballpark.

“This is an exciting day for the City of Saint Paul and the Lowertown neighborhood,” Mayor Chris Coleman said. “With a purchase agreement in place, we can put people to work as soon as we receive funding from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.”

The purchase price for the site is $1.85 million. The Port Authority expects to close on the property on July 31, 2012.

“The purchase of this property is a good deal for Saint Paul,” said Saint Paul Port Authority President Louis Jambois. “This agreement will create jobs both in the Lowertown neighborhood of Downtown Saint Paul and at the site of Midway Stadium, a key industrial corridor with highly sought-after railway access.”

Yesterday, Mayor Coleman sent a letter to DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips notifying him of the city’s intent to apply for $27 million in funding from the $47.5 million economic development fund included in the 2012 bonding bill.

The Lowertown Regional Ballpark is expected to bring 400,000 people per year to Downtown Saint Paul and will have a yearly economic impact of $10 million. The project is expected to create 500 full and part-time jobs and will become a center for statewide youth and amateur sporting events.