MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The City of St. Paul has started to make way for its newest ballpark along 5th street in Lowertown, near Highway 52.
On Saturday afternoon, crews began to demolish the exterior of the old Gillette/Diamond Products factory. Interior demolition started last month.
While Saints fans are excited to finally have a new ballpark, Mayor Chris Coleman calls the new stadium the gateway to Lowertown and the city of St. Paul.
“It’s going to integrate into the neighborhood. It’s going enhance the neighborhood, not detract from it or overwhelm it,” Coleman said.
Demolition is expected to be done by this fall.
Some nearby residents, however, are upset. They say the ballpark takes over the parking lot for their condos. One man said the closest spot to his home is now a quarter mile away.
“I lost about half the value of my property. No one’s going to be able to buy that without parking,” resident Matt Gross said.
The Lowertown Ballpark will be paid for with about $25 million in state funding, plus about $10 million from the team. It will seat more than 7,000 fans and is slated to open for the 2015 season.