Through a master planning process that it recently wrapped up, the
Hampden Park Coop
in St. Paul has identified short- and long-term remodeling priorities for the vintage building that it owns.
Coop member Paul Ormseth
, an architect who is leading the process, says that several years ago the store expanded into a corner space in the building “with an eye to doing some planning about how to manage it into the future.”
Right now, the coop rents out part of the second-floor space to Oak Floor Dance Association, and there’s potential for more tenants.
“With a large space upstairs, the building can serve the community,” perhaps by accommodating public gatherings or various educational uses.
It’s something that any remodeling project should strengthen, Ormseth says.
Additionally, the building is well positioned to take advantage of traffic from the coming Central Corridor
light rail transit line and right-of-way improvements planned for Raymond Avenue, he says.
In general “We want to do near-term remodeling that makes sense in a longer vision for the building,” and which will probably happen in a couple of phases.
For starters, the store needs more office and storage space.
The checkout stand could also be revamped, while the coop is also hoping to make the building more energy-efficient.
For example, “We’re looking at bringing more daylight into the store to improve the feel of the store and reduce the need for lighting,” he says.
Enhancing accessibility is another goal.
Whatever changes get made will be sensitive to the building's historic character.
It goes to show, adds Ormseth, that “An old building is valuable because it can be adapted and it strengthens the community by retaining some existing historic fabric.”
At this early stage, the budget for the remodeling projects is still debatable. “The coop has been an asset for the neighborhood for a long time,” he says. “In buying the building, the coop made a commitment to improving the store, as well as keeping the existing building intact.”
Source: Paul Ormseth, Hampden Park Coop member
Writer: Anna Pratt