Pioneer-Endicott Buildings to be Converted into 234 Market-Rate Apartments

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor The Pioneer-Endicott buildings in downtown St. Paul have been vacant for some time, but things could soon change. Local developer Rich Pakonen envisions a 234-unit market-rate apartment conversion project that would also include 31,900 square feet of commercial space, Finance & Commerce reports. The two buildings are among the oldest [...]

The Pioneer-Endicott buildings in downtown St. Paul have been vacant for some time, but things could soon change. Local developer Rich Pakonen envisions a 234-unit market-rate apartment conversion project that would also include 31,900 square feet of commercial space, Finance & Commerce reports.

The two buildings are among the oldest in St. Paul. The Endicott building was constructed in 1890 and was designed by Cass Gilbert, while the Pioneer building dates to 1889 and was the home of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The historic buildings have been empty since 2007, but things could change, as a $46.7 million project will be up for vote before St. Paul’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority.

Pioneer Endicott L.L.C. acquired the buildings for $1.1 million at the end of March 2011, according to property records and city documents. Rich Pakonen is the chief manager of the investment group, which also includes Clint Blaiser of Bloomington-based Halverson & Blaiser Group, a frequent partner of Pakonen.

The HRA commissioners, members of the St. Paul city council, will vote on creating a TIF district and plan for the project, as the developer is seeking to land $2.5 in million tax increment financing for his project. According to city documents, the developer has outlined plans for a $25.5 million permanent mortgage, while state and federal historic tax credits are calculated to amount to $15.9 million in equity. The balance of $5.3 million will be a mix of developer equity, cleanup grants and TIF.

The Pioneer-Endicott buildings are located between two stops on the Central Corridor light-rail transit line, which will open in 2014.

Photo Credits: Bobak Ha’Eri via Wikimedia Commons.

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