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Grand opening for long-delayed St. Paul Lofts at Farmers Market

St. Paul officials may issue a sigh of relief along with their congratulatory speeches Wednesday at the grand opening of the Lofts at Farmers Market.

The 58 units are all leased — at rates ranging from $925 a month for studios to $1,785 for a two-bedroom — so that’s good news. But there were many twists and turns to get to this point.

The project started a decade ago with the grand hopes of housing a year-round farmers’ market on the ground floor, with condos above. But the faltering economy led to disagreements with developers and builders. Eventually, the city became the developer on the project, which riled a big group of private apartment owners, who didn’t think the city should be the developer for market-rate apartments.

The city then won a lawsuit filed by a company that lost in the general contractor bidding process, only to have the ruling reversed last month.

Along the way, the project shifted from condos to market-rate apartments, and the indoor farmers’ market disappeared, replaced by commercial space on the first floor.

So there’ll be a long-delayed sense of accomplishment at cutting the ribbon during the Wednesday noon ceremony on the five-story building’s green roof.

Scheduled to appear:

  • Mayor Chris Coleman
  • Council Member Dave Thune, Ward 2
  • Metropolitan Council Member Jon Commers, District 14
  • Cecile Bedor, executive director of the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

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