Saint Paul Mayor Coleman in State of City: “The Penfield Brought Several Hundred Jobs to the City During a Time of High Unemployment"
As Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman gave his last state of the city address—Coleman has announced his candidacy for the upcoming race for governor—the mayor focused heavily on civic developments that he believes have put Saint Paul on a stronger path. The HIT’s 2012 investment in The Penfield was among these highlights.
Coleman discussed the success of The Penfield, a recently constructed $62.5 million mixed-use building with 254 apartments and a new Lunds grocery store in downtown Saint Paul. To structure the Penfield’s financing, the HIT provided $41 million of debt after working closely with the Saint Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) and Dougherty Mortgage LLC.
The Penfield is considered a key part of Saint Paul’s downtown redevelopment strategy, designed to bring quality housing to the area while serving as a catalyst for future development. The city’s HRA had provided equity and taken over the development of the project in 2010. The HRA sold the complex in 2016.
“We realized a return of $8.7 million and put a significant development back on the tax rolls thanks to the sale of the Penfield, a project that many derided as too risky at the time, but it was a time when private development had come to a crashing halt,” said Mayor Coleman. “We never gave up on moving Saint Paul forward. On top of the incredible return on investment, the development of the Penfield brought several hundred jobs to the city during a time of high unemployment."
Saint Paul continues to be an important market for the HIT. Since helping to finance The Penfield, the HIT invested a total of $51 million in two other projects – West Side Flats Apartments and 333 on the Park. The HIT’s recently announced MidWest@Work Strategy, a $2 billion program to spur economic development across the industrial Midwest, includes Saint Paul as one of the nine cities where the HIT is focusing its investment over the next seven years. The strategy will require strong partnerships with local leaders, and the HIT has been grateful for Mayor Chris Coleman’s support.
The Penfield was built 100% union and created an estimated 320 on-site jobs for members of the Saint Paul Building and Construction Trades Council. Employees at the Lunds grocery store are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1189.