By Ramsey County Commissioner District 5 Rafael Ortega
In 2020, the COVID-19 global pandemic brought many things to a screeching halt, including the RiversEdge redevelopment in downtown St. Paul. Over the last couple of years, Ramsey County has been working with developer AECOM to refine a vision for the RiversEdge development to revitalize our capital city’s historic riverfront, expand public access to the Mississippi River and create new housing and job opportunities.
One of the most innovative parts of this project is the Park at RiversEdge. The nine-acre park would be constructed over Shepard Road and the adjacent railway, extending from downtown St. Paul directly to the river, doubling the usable area of the site. Altogether, the projected $800 million development represents a once-in-a-century opportunity to transform an urban tract of land into a destination that would better connect residents, workers and visitors with the Mississippi River.
After Ramsey County selected AECOM as the developer for the site, we asked their representatives and our staff to do significant research and due diligence to make sure that the vision they put forward for RiversEdge would work in the marketplace. In August 2022, AECOM provided an update to the county with updated market outlooks that showed both housing and office uses as viable. In December 2022, the Ramsey County Board recommitted to RiversEdge by renewing a preliminary development agreement with AECOM and committing $26 million to the design and construction of the Park at RiversEdge. As the 2023 legislative session is underway, Ramsey County is seeking a matching state investment of $26 million for the Park at RiversEdge.
RiversEdge is an opportunity to develop a great civic space, create jobs, catalyze affordable housing and increase the tax base. I am confident that AECOM will be able to execute this bold vision and that our investment in this site will bring significant long-term returns for the entire metro area. I look forward to seeing how this project will transform our downtown and the way residents, workers and visitors connect with the Mississippi River.
Keep up with the latest news on the project at RamseyRiverfrontProperties.com.