plan ahead

Police and Wild will be neighbors in St. Paul’s old Macy’s building

When they’re practicing at their new rooftop rink in St. Paul, the Minnesota Wild won’t have to worry about safety because the police department will be in the very same building.

St. Paul’s city council has approved a 15-year lease to move a police office into the former Macy’s department store building downtown – the same building that will house the Wild’s new practice facility.

The city’s lease agreement comes with two five-year renewal options. Inflationary increases for rent and parking are built into the deal, so altogether they’re budgeting $5.7 million.

The police department will share the new space with the Ramsey County sheriff’s office to set up a joint investigations unit, the Pioneer Press reports. They say the police have been looking to move out of a building a few blocks away that will be either torn down or redeveloped.

The building  at 6th and Wabasha dates back to 1963, when it was constructed as a Dayton’s department store. It occupies a whole square block in the heart of downtown and it’s been empty since Macy’s closed in 2013.

The city had its development arm, the St. Paul Port Authority, buy the building in 2014. They gave up on trying to find a single tenant for the whole thing and are dividing it into parcels, branding it as Wabasha Center.

The Wild became the first big tenant when they leased the space for the rooftop practice rink, which is scheduled to be ready next fall.

The Wild have been practicing at the nearby Xcel Energy Center, but the assortment of other events held at the arena can limit their ice time.

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