New LRT maintenance building site identified in St. Paul; will Kling really move MPR?

Light rail planners now say the old Gillette plant in St. Paul’s Lowertown is the best choice for a Central Corridor train maintenance facility.

Previously, officials had planned to build a new facility on county-owned land on the eastern edge of downtown, between Kellogg Boulevard and Warner Road.

But the empty 178,000-square-foot plant — most recently used by Diamond Products — would be better for many reasons, including lower costs to prepare and to operate.

Planners say it would cost about $72 million to build on the county site and connect it to the light rail tracks. Cost to buy and remodel the Gillette/Diamond building is about $69 million.

In other light rail news, Minnesota Public Radio President Bill Kling said flatly this week: “Either the line moves — or we move.” He spoke with the Pioneer Press after MinnPost reported Tuesday that MPR might sue to have the proposed light rail route moved from the street in front of its headquarters building in downtown St. Paul.

The newspaper says the current route represents a long-sought consensus and is the best chance to get the project built.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Mike Kluznik on 12/20/2008 - 01:45 pm.

    I suppose Bill Kling might decide to move MPR because of the proposed LRT. So be it. That land will become a valuable piece of property when the LRT goes through. Whoever owns the property, be it MPR or some other entity, they will make a killing on the sale. Another tenant will move in, and the economic impact of MPR’s relocation will probably be minimal.
    Apparently, MPR knew about the proposed LRT route when they refurbished their current offices in downtown St. Paul. I believe they also got some kind of a government grant to help them in their efforts. For Kling now to say that he and MPR were unaware of the impending new LRT route near their building seems a bit odd. Afterall, they are the largest news gathering organization in the state.
    I think the city is trying to help the two churches and MPR find solutions to the noise and vibrations that will result from the LRT line.
    The LRT line is very important to downtown St. Paul and the surrounding area. It’s unfortunate that it is not a project without problems.

  2. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 12/22/2008 - 07:51 am.

    Typical Bill Kling nonsense. Holding light rail hostage. What a jerk.

  3. Submitted by Pat Igo on 12/22/2008 - 12:11 pm.

    What a circus. Will there be no end for the
    folks paying the bills? A billion dollar tax
    payer boondogle now being told to move away
    from another tax paid for entity or “We will
    sue” Who’s paying the bills?
    I think they are all the same folks that
    wanted the hard working people to “ante up”
    so that the choo choo could ride by their
    windows.
    I’m one of those and it’s time someone says
    STOP!

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