If you frequent downtown St. Paul, you may have noticed the former home of the Pioneer Press on Cedar Street stands empty since the newspaper moved to the River Park Plaza. Soon after the building was vacated it was purchased by the Stencil Group of South Dakota who originally planned to turn it into market rate housing. However, Real Estate Equities has proudly made plans to purchase the building and turn it into workforce housing for low to middle income workers struggling to find affordable housing.
In recent years, St. Paul and Minneapolis have seen a rise in luxury housing construction that has resulted in a higher cost of living, making the need for low income housing even greater. Additionally, the currently vacant building has been referred to as a “gaping hole downtown on [our] streets and in our skyway system for way too long now,” by members of the city council and is no longer considered an optimal choice for commercial tenants. This makes a conversion to housing, particularly workforce housing, a perfect solution.
The new REE building, which will be called “The Press,” will offer rent that is approximately 30-50% lower than other living options in the downtown area. Additionally, the YMCA has applied for a grant to turn the vacant space on the skyway level into a teen technology center to teach skills such as computer coding to young adults. If awarded the grant from the Best Buy corporation, they would be able to utilize the space rent free.
The whole team at REE is excited for our new building, and we are looking forward to the construction getting underway! Stay tuned for additional information and updates.