SAINT PAUL -- The partners of Go Wild, LLC, the joint venture between Hempel Companies and the Saint Paul Port Authority, today announced that the Minnesota Wild has executed a lease for a practice facility at Wabasha Center in downtown Saint Paul.
"The Minnesota Wild's commitment to this project is the catalyst for an exciting and vibrant new downtown development in the City of St. Paul," developer Randy McKay of Hempel Companies said. "We know that upon completion, the Wabasha Center will become an exciting new attraction to visitors to Saint Paul and the State of Hockey. In the coming weeks, we will be announcing additional tenants for the facility. The expected completion of the project is in fall of 2017."
The project, which will include an NHL-standard ice rink that the Minnesota Wild will use as its practice facility, also will be open to area teams, figure skaters and groups for ice rental.
"We are excited to welcome the Minnesota Wild as our first tenant. Because of their involvement, we are seeing increased interest in the rest of the building, from a variety of tenants who all have the potential to add to the vibrancy of downtown Saint Paul," added Lee Krueger, Saint Paul Port Authority president.
The development project is majority owned by Hempel Companies with minority ownership interest held by The Saint Paul Port Authority. The partnership finished the interior demolition and asbestos abatement this past summer and has selected RJM Construction to lead the final phase of construction.
"We are excited to have finally secured a site for a practice facility, and we couldn't be more pleased that it will be located in downtown Saint Paul," said Minnesota Wild owner and chairman Craig Leipold. "A dedicated practice facility is a critical component to our team's success, and will play a significant role in revitalizing an important asset in our city while also helping to grow the great sport of hockey. I'd like to thank Mayor Chris Coleman, the Saint Paul Port Authority, and Hempel Companies for their leadership, dedication and creative vision towards making this project a reality."
The Saint Paul Port Authority began the redevelopment efforts of Wabasha Center in 2014.
"This is terrific news and further evidence of the momentum throughout the city of Saint Paul," said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. "With the recent revival of Palace Theatre, this corner of downtown holds incredible opportunity. I look forward to seeing this site transformed into a home for the Minnesota Wild and a destination for visitors and residents alike."
"A project of this magnitude brightens the spotlight on Saint Paul. It is through the tireless efforts of a diverse group of stakeholders, including the City, the Port Authority, private developers and a major league sports team, that we are bringing life to a vacant building. The Wabasha Center of the future will be an energetic hub welcoming residents, workers, tourists and sports enthusiasts all year round," Krueger said.
The property originally was built in 1963 by Dayton's and occupies 2.25 acres with 529,053 sq. ft. building space.