New York Times brings national attention to “Bridges of Saint Paul” story

On January 2nd, 2008, the New York Times presented the Bridges of Saint Paul story, along with Saint Paul’s strong and principled civic backbone, to a national audience.

The Times’ reporter was drawn by the intriguing storyline: “A well-known local developer, proposing the largest project in Saint Paul’s history, has been prevented by the city itself, with the support of some pro-development forces, from building an upscale mixed-use community directly across the river from the downtown.”

FMR was among those who worked intensively on the project proposal because of its serious challenge to river corridor planning, height restrictions, and views. The article goes on to explain:

Mayor Chris Coleman was the councilman representing this part of Saint Paul 10 years ago when the city undertook a three-year planning process to formulate principles that would guide development. The guidelines envisioned a lower-density midrise development on the south side of the Mississippi, so the expansive views of the river and of distant residential neighborhoods would not be blocked.

The article suggests developer Jerry Trooien should be a bit grateful. “‘Here was a situation where the vision of the city and the vision that Jerry had were different, and you add in other market conditions and it was going to fail,’ Opus VP Tim Murnane concluded. ‘The city might have done Jerry a favor.’”

“We’ve done everything we can,” Trooien reflected, “but the squishy liberals think small-scale is morally superior.”

The full text of the article is available online at the New York Times web site.