Transitions for two controversial Twin Cities developers

The recent death of Robert Boisclair recalls the arrival in Minneapolis of deep-pocketed investors from Japan.

Boisclair’s wooing in the 1970’s of a Japanese bank and construction company led to Lake Point on Lake Calhoun. The 20 story condo raised a ruckus with neighborhood residents but became a luxury destination and an enormous source of property tax revenue.

Two other Boisclair ventures, Riverplace, the so-called festive retailing project along Mainstreet across the Mississippi river from downtown Minneapolis and the Galtier high rise development in Lowertown St. Paul, were bold and big and apparently ahead of their time.

St. Paul developer Jerry Trooien had hoped to make such a mark with the $1.5 billion Las Vegas-style The Bridges of St. Paul, but the riverside development never got out of the starting gate. He’s currently awaiting word along with the rest of us as to why the Feds raided his St. Paul offices last week looking for evidence of fraud as one FBI spokesman put it.

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