If you've been looking at the Central Terminal, hoping that one day the building will once again be fully operational, then there are other cities to look to for guidance. Cities such as St. Paul where work was recently completed on a $243 million project that has brought a building complex similar to the Central Terminal back to life. Saint Paul's Union Hub is open once again and will soon be functioning as a multi-purpose transit hub, after being neglected and downtrodden for two generations. Once more, the Union Hub is gearing up to service taxis, light rail, buses, bicycles and passenger trains.
While the location of the Union Depot is situated in closer proximity to downtown than the Central Terminal, there are still many lessons to be learned when examining an operational roadmap to recovery. With the success of the Union Depot, and other historic transportation depot initiatives, we can continue to develop blueprints that will help to lead us to similar accomplishments.
In the meantime, keep the events
and the festivals going, and the small wins
The project was funded mostly by Ramsey County and the federal government, with some state help. With the strong backing of former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, a House leader on transportation issues, and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum of St. Paul, Union Depot received $124.3 million in transit and stimulus funds.
The state kicked in $13.7 million in bonding. The county rail authority is covering the balance, which officials expect to come in at less than $105 million.
Restoration and construction work, which took two years and was finished in October, cost $148 million. The project created an estimated 4,400 jobs, including more than 2,200 on site.
The remaining $95 million went for acquisition, environmental work, railroad work and site improvements.
The whole of the 35-acre site is owned by the county railroad authority, save for 39 condos in the head house.
*Hat tip to Lorne Opler