Saint Paul Port Authority Board Approves Short-term Master Lease for Soccer Stadium Site

The Saint Paul Port Authority’s board of directors gave its approval today for the organization to get further involved with the Minnesota United Soccer Stadium redevelopment project. The Saint Paul Port Authority will move forward with a short-term Master Lease agreement with R.K. Midway for a section of land included in the City of Saint Paul’s master plan, which was presented at a public hearing on August 3, 2016 and approved by the city council on August 17, 2016. Our objective is to be a short-term catalyst for the project, gaining temporary site control and setting the stage for redevelopment. The stadium, which will be located directly east of Snelling Avenue, between I-494 and University Avenue, has a target completion date of 2018.

Click to View Infographic Describing the Master Lease Process

Dai Thao, city council member and SPPA board member shows his support of Minnesota United FC.

Additional FAQs

Why is the Saint Paul Port Authority getting involved?

At the Saint Paul Port Authority, we have developed the expertise needed to bring the public and private sectors together, serving as a conduit to get complicated projects off the ground. In the case of the soccer stadium, we are leveraging this expertise to find solutions that work for all parties involved, including the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota United FC and the R.K. Midway Shopping Center. We began working on the remediation of the “Bus Barn” site, owned by the Met Council, over a year ago and have been facilitating the redevelopment process since June 2016. In our role as a facilitator, we are identifying and quantifying the risks associated with the project, in an effort to help a private developer make the decision to move forward.

Why isn’t the entire R.K. Midway shopping center included?

There are a total of four parcels that have been discussed for the stadium project, with each parcel tied to a different ownership group. The Saint Paul Port Authority is entering in a Master Lease Agreement with only one of these parcels.

How long does the Saint Paul Port Authority plan to be involved with the property?

Our goal is to be a short-term participant. We are focused on selecting a commercial real estate developer who is interested in buying us out of the project and continuing with the City of Saint Paul’s master plan.

Why is the lease being approved before a developer is announced?

We are close to selecting a commercial development partner, but because our board needed to approve the master lease structure, and board meetings are scheduled monthly, we would miss key deadlines by waiting until February.

Is this a typical project for the Saint Paul Port Authority?

The Master Lease structure is unique, but the process of creating joint ventures through Capital City Properties (CCP) is not new.

Is the Saint Paul Port Authority Making a Significant Investment in the Stadium?

No. Initial lease payments due will be covered by existing tenants and a development partner will take on future risk as part of a joint venture agreement. We will not be making a capital investment in the project and the lease agreement will not be backed by the full faith and credit or the Port Authority.