Demolishing St. Paul Macy’s would cost $13.5M

If the Saint Paul Port Authority decides to demolish the downtown Macy’s building, it will have to come up with an estimated $13.5 million.

The Port is scheduled to buy the property tomorrow for $3 million. It will immediately try to re-sell the property with the building intact. If that doesn’t work, the fallback plan in to tear the structure down and prepare the site for new construction.

“The Port Authority aims to avoid the significant holding costs associated with maintaining a 529,053 square foot building through the winter of 2014-15 and thereafter,” Senior Vice President Lee Krueger wrote in a memo to the Port’s Credit Committee earlier this month.

Holding costs, which include heating, security and taxes, are estimated at $29,500 per month. But tearing down the building would be costly as well, according to the memo:

A.    Deconstruction of building:
a.    Acquisition costs:  $3,000,000.00
b.    Physical demolition:  $8,100,000.00
c.    Environmental:  $2,550,000.00
d.    Geotechnical:  $1,600,000.00
e.    Miscellaneous costs:  $1,200,000.00
f.    Total investment  $16,450,000.00

If the building needs to go, the Port would apply for grants from other governmental entities to help defray those costs, spokesman Tom Collins said. Ramsey County, the Metropolitan Council, the state of Minnesota and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency all have programs to clean up polluted properties.