At Ryan, we’re committed to the people who live, work and play in the spaces we build. In many neighborhoods, that means working to unify one cohesive community by balancing the needs of existing residents with the addition of new ones. Vintage on Selby, a mixed-use, multifamily and retail development in the heart of one of Saint Paul’s most eclectic commercial and residential districts, is a perfect example of this promise in action.
When Associated Bank purchased another branch in the Merriam Park neighborhood, they got a bank building plus several adjacent parcels that had been long neglected. After enlisting us to help them make the best use of the land and support its development, we came up with a vision: a brand new bank, a vibrant retail tenant and attractive housing. Associated Bank wanted to remain open throughout construction, so once we’d completed the new two-story branch, Associated moved its operations to the new space and the existing building was demolished. That made way for Phase II of the project, a five-story complex featuring a Whole Foods Market and 210 market-rate housing units.
We collaborated with the City of Saint Paul, community members and ESG Architects to get input on the design, which is a modern take on a classic vintage building. The new development incorporates many of the ideas of neighboring businesses and homeowners, and the luxury apartments have been in high demand since completion.
In a neighborhood with an eclectic blend of single family homes and mom-and-pop commercial buildings, Ryan knew that engaging surrounding businesses and homeowners early and often would be key to the project’s success. Before planning for the development had even begun, we met with community members to listen to their questions and address their concerns. This early, open engagement provided us with a better understanding of the community’s preferences and hot-button issues, and helped residents feel they were being heard and respected.
Over the course of the project, representatives from Ryan’s team attended over 30 community meetings. We incorporated many of the stakeholders’ ideas into the final design, adding features like sidewalk setbacks and height setbacks that let the building mesh aesthetically with surrounding structures. Earning trust and buy-in from neighboring residents led to the healthy collaboration that is a cornerstone of Vintage on Selby’s success. Ryan’s commitment to the community was so strong, we developed an ongoing, positive relationship with the leader of the local neighborhood association that remains intact today.
We were also pleased to play a significant role in efforts save three homes near the old Associated Bank site from demolition and relocate them to St. Paul's Rondo neighborhood. Inspired by the preservation efforts spearheaded by Historic St. Paul and Model Cities, we purchased and donated the three homes, and contributed significant manpower and financial assistance to help the two organizations get the complex move completed in a tight time frame. The move was a win-win for the city, community and former residents of the homes, which had been lovingly maintained by their previous owners. Now, instead of heading to the landfill, the homes have been repurposed to welcome new families in a new neighborhood.
Balancing the landscape design requirements of a retail storefront with the needs of a residential space can be complex, but Ryan’s Architecture + Engineering team provided thoughtful landscaping solutions that both improved Vintage on Selby’s tenant experience and reduced the building’s environmental impact.
To accommodate the City of Saint Paul’s watershed strategies, we had to minimize the amount of water that was flowing offsite. By installing planting beds on the boulevard between trees and grating the sidewalks, we were able to soften and enhance the appearance of the streetscape while effectively reducing stormwater runoff.
To create an inviting outdoor gathering space for residents, we utilized green roof planting techniques to outfit the rooftop terraces with raised planting beds, essentially creating a “backyard” on top of the building. We also added a street level fenced-in dog run as a bonus amenity for residents and their furry friends, which served the dual purpose of additional watershed management. Both the rooftop terraces and the dog run were designed with special irrigation systems that collect and treat groundwater runoff, allowing all water on the Vintage on Selby site to be reused.
Ryan did a great job of engaging the community early and responding to people's concerns throughout the process. The developer became a regular not only at our community meetings, but also our neighborhood parties and events. Our community's experience with Ryan was excellent, and we ended up with a beautiful addition to the neighborhood.