The cure?


Could this nondescript piece of land be the answer to a moribund retail economy in downtown St. Paul? Maybe.

Lund’s announced today it’s going to build a supermarket here at the corner of 10th and Robert in downtown. It’s on the site where the Penfield tower was going to be built — a 30-story condo project that collapsed when the housing market did. Now, the Penfield is back. “The $88 million development also is expected to include an upscale apartment complex and a Hyatt Place Select Service hotel. Construction is slated to begin in the fall of 2009,” according to a city news release today.

It’s no secret that retail downtown has been a losing proposition, despite an increase in condo development.

“With a rising population and a lack of full-service supermarket options in downtown Saint Paul, we know there is a real need for a Lunds in this area,” said Tres Lund, chairman and CEO of Lund Food Holdings. “We’re eager to provide the residents and businesses in downtown Saint Paul with a selection of products and a level of service that will exceed their expectations.”

Though the city has given its blessing, apparently there’s no financing for the huge project yet. Construction is scheduled to begin next fall. But, huge signs still stand on the site announcing the Penfield opening in the fall of 2007.