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Monday, April 14, 2008

Opus needs more time Developer terminates purchase of old Ramsey County jail, West Publishing building on eve of $1 million deadline

Please click onto the COMMENTS for the story.


Blogger Bob said...

Hi All,

Swiftee linked this story under another topic. It is worthy of a title. This is one of my pet peeves.

By Dave Orrick

Article Last Updated: 04/14/2008 04:58:33 PM CDT

The developer hoping to spend some $200 million to convert a key stretch of downtown St. Paul's riverfront into offices and luxury condos wants more time.

Opus Northwest this afternoon terminated its contract with Ramsey County to purchase the parcel that includes the former county jail and West Publishing building for $10 million.

Tim Murnane, Opus' point person on the deal, said this afternoon the move was necessary for the developer to ask the county for more time to find an anchor tenant in a slow real estate market. A county board workshop with Opus is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon to discuss the status of the project. Murnane said that's when he'll say that Opus is still committed, but not committed enough to plunk down $1 million in non-refundable money without prior commitments for the space. A key deadline at midnight that would have required Opus to essentially deposit $1 million of non-refundable money into county coffers. Terminating the contract relieves Opus of that responsibility.

"We love the site, we think we've got a good plan, but we still don't have an anchor," Murnane said. "There needs to be pre-leasing for a project like this in this type of market."

Several county commissioners have said they would consider granting Opus more time.

The Minnetonka-based national developer is favored by county commissioners and Mayor Chris Coleman to at last put the jumble of buildings jammed into the Mississippi River bluff back on the tax rolls — a goal of county officials since the 1990s.
Murnane said Opus' business plan was to find a large corporate tenant to commit to the project, tentatively titled "The Riverfront" and consisting of three buildings standing at the foot of the bluff and extending above it: a 34-story condo and hotel building, an 18-story office building and "Cliff Dwellers," a seven-story luxury condo building.

Read tomorrow's Pioneer Press for complete coverage.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is Swiftees comment.

Swiftee said...
Problem properties?

Yeah, looks like Opus has decided it doesn't want to end up holding a problem property that it cannot develop.

One cannot help but wonder how much af an effect the "Bucky-zation" of the Bridges of St. Paul had on Opus' decision to pull the plug.

One more huge opportunity lost.

As I've said, as long as it remains in the clammy hands of the incompetant, socialist bufoons that are in office right now, nothing good will come St. Paul's way...nothing.

5:51 PM

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Light rail axed. Opus is giving this project the ax.

Bad bad day for the chumps who manage this city.

12:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get used to it, there's not going to be any kind of investment in St Paul until the circus act running the city is out and there has been a period of some political stabilty in the city. Don't look for it any time soon. Meanwhile St. Paul will continue to slide downwards.

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow... we're in the midst of an economic downturn, Opus says that's the reason, and says they're still interested in the project, yet you guys blame this on the city? you've been drinking too much kool-aid...

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they're interested and maybe this is just a "face saving" way to get out of the deal.

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the ricomen can buy it and turn it into some type of river front nusiance so the city doesn't get bored when their code enforcement program gets shut down by the Federal court.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The economy is of course a major concern for business. However take a bad economy and toss in a virulently anti-business cabal holding the hoops to be jumped through and you get "no deal".

Opus is in the business of making money, so is Jerry Trooein. Given enough profit, a competant businessman will put up with a lot to see a deal through.

Right now, there is profit to be made, but the risks are also much higher. There is absolutely no way that Opus has not considered the $million or so that JLT dumped into the Bridges project that ended up a total loss.

And if you think that any business is going to tell you that they are pulling the plug because the city council is staffed with idiots, you're dreaming.

They may indeed want to do business in the city some day, after all there are elections coming...things could get better and are not going to poison the well.

My point is this.

The city of Saint Paul has the stink of decay floating in the air. The largest employers left are pulling up stakes...opportunity is flying out the window and isn't looking back.

Meanwhile, the mayor is standing there, squirting tears on the street corner with his tin cup, while his council president pisses all over the people bringing the biggest event this city will ever see and makes plans to ensure a gathering of nutcases is afforded every opportunity to trash the place...hell, he plans to join them!

And you wonder why Opus doesn't want to invest hundreds of millions?

Oh, and just watch what happens with the brewery development "deal"..."artists lofts"?? pfft.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More dominoes falling down for the city.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

use the jail to lock up these pant sagging gang bangers.


12:30 PM  

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