Vision for Reimagined Downtown St. Cloud Becoming More Clear
ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- The plan to revitalize and reimagine the core of St. Cloud has been talked about for a while, and now that vision is becoming more clear.
When the Minnesota State House Capital Investment Committee was in St. Cloud they got a tour of the downtown as community and city leaders made their pitch for $100 million in state bonding money.
The city is asking the state for $20 million in 2024 and another $15 million in 2025 for phases one and two.
A breakdown of where that money would be spent includes $8 million for a long talked about Mississippi Riverwalk on the west side of the river from downtown to St. Cloud Hospital.
Another $9 million would be spent on East St. Germain Street and Veterans Bridge walkability. They say the east side is well positioned to flourish due to its framing by the Mississippi River and future transit-oriented development.
Creating a connection between Lake George and downtown is another $3 million. Strategic crossing improvements and beautification enhancements they say are necessary.
A St. Cloud Hospital Gateway and a St. Cloud State University Gateway would be another $5 million each.
Finally $5 million on rail corridor pedestrian safety improvements.
The city is looking for an additional $65 million in state investments for phase three of the downtown improvement plan in the years 2026 and 2027.
A breakdown of expenses for the third phase includes $11 million for site acquisition and site preparation for public housing.
Public utilities redevelopment capacity improvements would be $8 million.
Site acquisition for a new Mississippi Riverfront downtown public plaza is $8 million.
$9 million and $8 million for the expansion of the Paramount Parking Ramp and the Centre Square Parking Ramps.
A public skyway system would cost $8 million.
Downtown core walkability upgrades would be a $7 million investment.
And finally, East St. Germain public parking acquisition and construction would cost $6 million.
The next Minnesota State Legislative session begins in February. There are about $7.3 billion in bonding requests statewide. The bonding bill for 2024 will likely be somewhere under $2 billion.