The Latest on Business Projects in District 10
Tuesday, December 20, 2016 9:55 PM

An overview of renovation plans on the first floor of Como Park Senior High School.

For information on the reconstruction of Wheelock Parkway, see this article.

For information on the expansion of Hmong College Prep Academy, see this article.

For information on Como Park Senior Living (on the former Sholom Home property), see this article.

Como Park Senior High School
The Saint Paul School District plans a major renovation of the school, beginning in spring 2017. From the outside, the most visible changes will be a dramatic new main entrance directly facing Grotto; a two-story, 21,000-square-food classroom addition on the southwest corner of the building; synthetic turf and lights on the athletic field west of the school; and minor improvements to other athletic facilities east of the school. Inside, the building will get new lockers; updated HVAC systems and plumbing; fire sprinklers; and an extensively renovated commons and cafeteria area.

Work will take three summers and is expected to be complete when classes begin in fall of 2019.

The Falls Event Center – Bandana Square
A Utah-based company plans to renovate the 20,000-square-foot "chimneys" building, which once house the Minnesota Children’s Museum. Renovation will create rental space for weddings, corporate trainings, private parties, fund-raisers, and similar events.

The developer expects to file formal paperwork with the city in spring, begin construction three months later if all goes according to plan, and open by the end of 2017, says John Neubauer, corporate general manager.

One hall will have a capacity of about 300-350; a smaller hall will hold 100-150. The center will not serve food or alcohol; instead, events bring in their own caterer or licensed bartenders, as needed, Neubauer says. Events need to shut down by midnight, he says, and although the renovation will include an outdoor patio, outdoor music is not allowed. On April 10, the company received a parking variance to ensure there are enough dedicated parking spaces in Bandana Square’s lots and parking ramp.

The Falls Event Center currently operates eight other locations in the western U.S., and is building more.

Gabe’s by the Park
Long-time owner Tim Weitz sold the restaurant at Lexington Parkway and Energy Park Drive so he can focus on operating Giggles’ Campfire Grill on the State Fairgrounds. However, Weitz retains ownership of the property.

The restaurant’s new managers – Dan, Kevin and Rick Montpetit, using the business name Big Operation LLC – began running Gabe’s on Jan. 3. They told District 10’s Land Use Committee in December they plan no big changes, “though we might improve the menu a bit,” Dan says. “We plan to keep it a neighborhood place, kid friendly.”

After opposition from District 10, the Montpetits withdrew their request to change conditions for the restaurant’s liquor license. Their request sought to allow speakers on the patio, and to allow the patio to remain open until 12:30 a.m. daily. For the time being, the liquor license's existing conditions remain in effect; those conditions forbid music on the patio and require the patio to close by 11 p.m.

International Institute of Minnesota
The International Institute, 1694 Como Ave., plans to build an addition on the west side of its current building across from the Fairgrounds. Construction is scheduled to start in August 2017, says executive director Jane Graupman. The addition is possible because the City of Saint Paul and nearby property owners agreed with the nonprofit’s request for the city to vacate Aldine St. – which existed only on maps, not in reality.

The Massage School
The school’s first classes began in October at the Saint Paul location, 801 Front Ave. The school now offers massage clinics so students get practice from 6-9:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. For an appointment, call 651-488-8000; because the students are unlicensed, waivers are required.

District 10 Como Community Council | 1224 Lexington Pkwy N, Saint Paul, MN 55103 | 651.644.3889 | district10 [at]

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