FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 23, 2023
City of Saint Paul announces funding for expanded Pedro Park
Construction of new downtown park set to begin Summer 2024
SAINT PAUL – The Saint Paul City Council today voted to authorize $6 million in funding to construct a new .87-acre park in downtown Saint Paul, which is expected to break ground next summer. The approved funding, comprised of existing General Fund and City Bond Funds, leaves $1.5 million remaining to be privately fundraised.
“Today’s vote will bring much needed green space and a neighborhood gathering space to downtown,” said Ward 2 Councilmember Rebecca Noecker. “It wouldn’t have happened without the dedicated downtown residents who have been advocating for years for an expanded park and the demolition of the Public Safety Annex.”
Pedro Park is located at the corner of 10th St. E and Robert St. N in a vibrant and growing part of downtown Saint Paul. Formerly the site of Pedro Luggage Center, the initial .45-acre plot of land was donated by the Pedro family to the City of Saint Paul to be developed as a park. It has most recently been home to Urban Flower Field, a temporary park-project that converted the lot into a community gathering space. Earlier this year, the adjacent city-owned Public Safety Annex building was razed to make way for the expanded park which will feature walkways, open lawn space, landscaping, public art, a fenced dog run, and more.
“This investment reaffirms our shared commitment to our downtown prosperity and vibrancy,” said Mayor Carter. "The new park and green space planned at Pedro Park reimagines a once-vibrant space, and signals an exciting step toward a revitalized downtown experience."
The $1.5 million private fundraising campaign is expected to support additional park elements including an event pavilion, play area, and interactive water feature. The campaign, an effort that will be led by the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy and Friends of Pedro Park, will seek foundation and corporate grants, offer select naming opportunities and seek contributions from individuals.
“The Saint Paul Parks Conservancy is so excited to help realize the gorgeous design for the expanded Pedro Park,” said Executive Director Michael-jon Pease. “Our mission is to make strong parks superb, so we are working with the Friends of Pedro Park to attract $1.5 million of private contributions to fund the amenities that will make the park come alive for residents and visitors. Gifts of every size count in this effort and individual gifts up to $10,000 will be matched by two downtown residents.”
“The residents surrounding Pedro Park and the Friends of Pedro Park are elated that this dream, after 20-plus years of advocacy, is at last coming to fruition,” said Julie Printz, Chair of Friends of Pedro Park. “This park space is our backyard, our garden and community gathering place. We (and our puppies!) are beyond excited and proud to have such a beautiful and accessible space to live and play in, and to share with downtown visitors.”
Beginning this fall, staff will work with the consultant design team to further develop the concept plan and prepare construction documents for bidding in early 2024. Construction will take place next summer with the new park expected to open to the public by spring 2025.
For additional information and future project updates, visit www.stpaul.gov/pedropark.
About Saint Paul Parks and Recreation
Saint Paul Parks and Recreation is a nationally accredited and gold medal award-winning organization that manages 184 parks and open spaces, AZA-accredited Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, 26 city-operated recreation centers, more than 120 miles of trails, an indoor and two outdoor aquatic facilities, a public beach, a variety of premium sports facilities, municipal golf courses, and Great River Passage – which is the new identity for all proposed public development along Saint Paul’s more than 17 miles of Mississippi riverfront. For more information about Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, visit www.stpaul.gov/parks.