Ryan Cos. Awarded Saints Stadium Contract After All
The City of St. Paul has selected Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies US, Inc., to design and build the new $54 million Saints ballpark—the same company it selected before public opposition to the contract award prompted the city to seek competitive bids.
The city announced Thursday that it chose Ryan after completing a “comprehensive review” of the three proposals that were submitted through the bidding process. The city did not disclose which firms the other two proposals were from.
Ryan will serve as the general contractor and the lead designer for the project and will collaborate with the Minneapolis and Kansas City offices of Los Angeles-based architectural firm AECOM and Minneapolis-based Julie Snow Architects in designing the stadium.
The city said that Ryan Companies “has extensive experience designing and managing large-scale projects.” Since the company was involved in the production of the stadium’s feasibility study at the time the project was pursuing legislative funding, Ryan “has extensive background and familiarity” with the project, the city said.
Recent Minnesota projects completed by Ryan Companies include the Minnesota Department of Revenue building in Saint Paul and the MoZaic office and retail building in Minneapolis’ Uptown area. Projects currently in the works include a multi-year renovation of the Bishop Henry Whipple building at Fort Snelling and 222 Hennepin, a mixed-use project in Minneapolis that includes luxury apartments and a Whole Foods grocery store.
The city and the St. Paul Saints minor league baseball team in September selected Ryan as the general contractor and the lead designer for the project. But shortly after that, the Taxpayers League of Minnesota filed a lawsuit to halt construction of the stadium. The organization said at the time that “the city’s failure to obtain competitive bids is a violation of the open bidding process and puts taxpayers at risk of paying more than necessary for the project.”
Five days after the lawsuit was filed, the city announced that it would open the project to competitive bids and issued a request for proposals on November 30.
In a prepared statement, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said at the time that in its original decision to award the contract to Ryan, the city “acted within the full authority of the law with the work to date in pursuing and building a Lowertown ballpark.” However, the city decided to conduct a competitive bidding process in the “interest of transparency.”
The new ballpark will be located at Fifth Street and Broadway Street and will replace the vacant Diamond Products/Gillette building that’s now at the site, which the St. Paul Port Authority bought. The city coordinated a “land swap” deal, through which it provided the site of the Saints’ Midway Stadium in exchange for that property.
The new open-air, grass ballpark—which is slated for a 2015 opening—will have more than 7,000 fixed seats, six to eight suites, a public plaza, a restaurant, and permanent art exhibits featuring local artists’ work. In addition to Saints games, the stadium will be used for community athletic events, college and high school football and baseball games, and rentals.
The ballpark project received $25 million in state funds last year as part of a bonding bill that Governor Mark Dayton signed in June. While the project received $2 million short of what St. Paul requested, its share was the largest portion of $47.5 million that the state distributed among nine projects.
In other stadium news, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced Thursday that it awarded a $1 million grant to St. Paul to clean up the 9.7-acre site that will house the new ballpark. DEED said that the site is contaminated because coal gas, personal care products, and paper correction fluid used to be manufactured on it.
Ryan Companies is a family-owned developer, designer, builder, and real estate manager specializing in retail, distribution, public sector, and health care projects. The company is the largest commercial developer in Minnesota based on square feet developed within the state over the past five years.