COVID-19 slows massive 'super block' redevelopment at Allianz Field; project start still expected this fall

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A mixed-use housing, hospitality and entertainment complex planned for the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul is facing challenges amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The so-called "super block" is more than 30 acres of prime real estate surrounding Allianz Field, home to Minnesota United FC at the corner of Snelling and University avenues.

Minnesota United's owner, along with developers and investors, have a master plan that lays out a hotel, apartment buildings, office space, restaurant and retail businesses.

Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire told the Union-Park District Council that the economic downturn connected to COVID-19 restrictions has slowed things down on the hotel front, but possibly only in the short term.

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"I cannot see any funding for hotel/hospitality right now in the lenders," McGuire said. "We've asked a few around, but there is just nobody going to do it. It could come back in six months, but that one is a negative."

McGuire also said there were still some things that needed to be "sorted out with the city," but overall things were progressing with redevelopment plans, even though the idea of a mega movie theater has probably died because of the economic stagnation.

"That's been pretty well shut down now, because of COVID," McGuire said. "It's obviously a question of whether the movie theater business can survive through this.

"The impact on the Regals and AMCs and Marcus and others is very profound. So I don't know if that one will come back."

McGuire expressed optimism that the planned apartment buildings could have ground broken by this fall and completion of all of the apartment units should be done by late spring 2022.