Developers affiliated with the Minnesota United soccer team plan to overhaul a 15.6-acre site near their future stadium and will ask St. Paul to help finance the project.
St. Paul leaders are considering the use of tax increment financing (TIF), which captures additional property tax revenue that a site generates and uses it to subsidize development costs. The financing tool is intended to spur development that would not otherwise occur at a property.
City Council members have not decided whether they would use TIF at the property. But, acting as the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority, they decided Wednesday that the site is eligible for the financing and signed off on a demolition agreement for buildings there.
Soccer team owners plan to tear down part of the Midway Shopping Center that sits on land where they want to build the stadium. That will displace five businesses, according to a city report.
Some city leaders oppose using TIF on the acreage north and east of the stadium. Council Members Rebecca Noecker and Jane Prince proposed ruling out TIF use there last year. They reaffirmed that stance by voting against Wednesday’s resolution.
St. Paul already agreed to forgo property taxes at the stadium and will pay for $18.4 million in infrastructure improvements in the area, Noecker said, and the city doesn’t need to put additional public dollars into the site.
Other council members said they should keep all options, including TIF, open to spur the type of development the city wants, including a mix of businesses, housing and entertainment.
“I think it’s premature to close that option off, and I think it’s kind of shortsighted,” Council Member Chris Tolbert said.
Jessie Van Berkel • 612-673-4649