Metro State comes to agreement with St. Paul neighbors over parking ramp


“Congrats on the Agreement,” read the banner hanging in the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council meeting room. A large cake decorated with balloons and the word “Agreement” topped off the meeting. The special Dayton’s Bluff Community Council Land Use meeting on November 12 was a celebration, and the Land Use committee passed a motion in support of the neighborhood: Metropolitan State University’s “Areas of Mutual Agreement” document.

Numerous community members attending the meeting thanked Metropolitan State University personnel for working with the community to make the parking ramp and Student Center fit in with the community vision.

The Areas of Mutual Agreement document reads as follows:

Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood leadership representatives and the Metropolitan State University leadership are delighted to reach agreement on the plan for the development of a parking ramp and student center on the St. Paul campus of Metropolitan State University. The university and the neighborhood representatives agree to work together to advance these objectives in the months ahead.

Overall plan objectives:

  • The university has agreed with the neighborhood’s request to site the parking ramp in the center of block, edging Bates Avenue and running toward Maria Avenue with an east-west orientation.
  • The ramp will accommodate 700 cars.
  • The ramp will have a two-level elevation above grade along Bates Avenue (four levels in total) and five levels of parking on the Maria Avenue side.
  • The two entrances/exits from the ramp will be on Maria Avenue (entering/exiting Maria from 6th Street) and on Bates.
  • Parking ramp facades on Bates and facing Maria should receive priority for sensitive and appropriate design and materials.

Everyone agreed to support efforts to create a pedestrian-friendly environment on Maria between 6th and 7th Streets and will seek a solution with the city in order to limit and calm traffic on Maria.

The university will undertake additional study of the traffic conditions at the related intersections including:

  • Pedestrian safety and access improvements on Maria;
  • A traffic-control solution for Bates and East 7th Street;
  • A traffic-control solution for Bates and East 6th Street.

The neighborhood is pleased that the university is willing to locate the student center on 7th Street in order to add to the vitality of the avenue.

  • The university will have continued conversations with the neighborhood and campus constituencies about the design of the student center.

It is recognized that several variances and the re-zoning of three residential properties will be sought in order to accomplish this overall plan.

It is understood that the construction schedule will create short term/temporary parking pressure in the area.

  • Everyone will work to assist the university in its access to temporary parking during the construction period.
  • Efforts will be made to encourage changing habits and long-term transit use during this time.

In evaluating the need for additional surface parking, the university commits to minimize asphalt and maximize green space on the balance of the block.

Everyone acknowledges that the overall budget for this construction program is limited. The neighborhood’s preferences will be a priority in the design development process within that context.

The university looks forward to the formation of a standing community-university committee which will lead coalition- and relationship-building in the years ahead.

For more information on the proposed construction or the agreement, please email or call 651-772-2075.