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Reuter Walton, LaValle to start Lowertown apartments.

Byline: Matt M. Johnson

A partnership led by Reuter Walton Development has purchased Kelly's Depot Bar in downtown St. Paul and is poised to build 93 apartments on the property.

An entity related to Reuter Walton paid $1.45 million for the 95-year-old bar at 241 Kellogg Blvd. E., according to a certificate of real estate value made public on May 7. The seller is a company managed by the bar's former owner, Richard Kelly, records on file with the Minnesota Secretary of State's office show.

The transaction closed on May 7. Ramsey County values the 0.3-acre property at $684,300. Kelly's Depot Bar closed at the end of last month.

Minneapolis-based Reuter Walton Development and St. Paul-based TJL Development are proposing to build a seven-story building on the property, which is across the street from the Union Station and is a block east of the Union Station stop on the Green Line light rail transit route. The bar would be demolished to make room for the new building. The apartments would have 35 indoor parking stalls on the first two levels of the building, according to a city staff report.

The developers pursued the project after finding the property for sale last year, said Kyle Brasser, a Reuter Walton developer. They liked its location in St. Paul's Lowertown and its proximity to bus, light rail transit and Amtrak lines, he said in a Wednesday interview.

"The location serves as a great amenity for the building," he said. "Every imaginable form of transportation runs through that station."

The apartments are the latest Reuter Walton and TJL have proposed in St. Paul. Last June, the developers received city approval to build a $25 million apartment and retail project at 246, 252 and 258 Snelling Ave., which is in the southeast corner of Snelling and St. Clair avenues. The project would create 118 market-rate apartments, 4,000 square feet of retail space and 70 underground parking stalls in a six-story building.

That building is expected to open to residents in September, Brasser said.

The apartment building on the Kelly's site will feature about a dozen studios, more than 60 one-bedroom apartments and about a dozen two-bedroom apartments. Building amenities will include a seventh-floor lounge, Brasser said. An earlier plan for a rooftop deck was deleted because it would have made the building taller than is allowed in that area of the city.

The project was approved by the city and is expected to break ground in early June, Brasser said. The $20 million project is planned to be complete by late June 2020. Reuter Walton Construction is the general contractor on the project, and Minneapolis-based DJR Architecture is the project architect.

The apartments are not the only ones proposed for the area around Union Station. In April, developer Michael Sowers proposed renovating an existing building at 201 Fourth St. E. into lofts and commercial space. The building, which is more than 140 years old, would feature 23 apartments and ground-floor retail space.

The apartment vacancy rate in downtown St. Paul is 4.7%, according to the Apartment Trends report from Minneapolis-based Marquette Advisors. There are currently about 3,060 apartments in the city's downtown.


St. Paul OKs Snelling Avenue apartment project

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Publication:Finance and Commerce
Geographic Code:1U4MN
Date:May 15, 2019
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