High hopes for rec center on St. Paul’s east side

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Workers will break ground on the Payne Maryland Project next week. (Photo courtesy of the city of St. Paul.)

A $14 million community hub is coming to a distressed corner on St. Paul’s east side.

The Payne Maryland Project combines a recreation center and library — a concept six years in the making. A second phase of the project will bring social services, additional programming, and private businesses to the site.

City officials and community members are hoping the development and adjoining park, which will take up almost an entire square block, will spur a rebirth for the area.

“This is a significant day for Saint Paul’s east side,” said Mayor Chris Coleman in a written statement. “This transformational vision and model for improving this area of the city is ready to move forward.”

The project has some key partners in the neighborhood. Arlington Lutheran Church, Bradshaw Celebration of Life Centers, and other possibly other community organizations will offer services there, according to the city’s website. Several businesses and the existing rec center will come down to make way for the facility.

Coleman will join Council Member Dan Bostrom, Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough and other officials Thursday for a groundbreaking. Kraus Anderson will manage the project, which is expected to last until the fall of 2013.

More information on the project can be found here.

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