River of Goods / Terrybear Urns & Memorials
Location: 946 W Pierce Butler Route #100, St. Paul, MN
Nominated by: St. Paul Port Authority
Terrybear Urns and Memorials and River of Goods partnered with the Saint Paul Port Authority to turn a blighted nightclub/bowling alley built on top of an old city dump into a successful business headquarters. The project not only creates jobs and increases the tax base – twin goals of the Port Authority – but also blends into the neighborhood and creates a community space.
The Port Authority purchased this property from Minnehaha Lanes, a bowling alley in bankruptcy and whose substandard building sat atop an old city dump. The Port Authority cobbled together funds from a variety of funding sources, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and the Metropolitan Council to complete the demolition and remediation.
Soils were excavated to depths of 12 feet in some areas to clear out the old dump materials. The beneficial re-use of dredge materials from the Mississippi River was a part of the sustainable remediation at this location. Next Generation stormwater management solutions, including the installation of three rain gardens to collect stormwater in the newly constructed parking lot, also were implemented.
The Port Authority marketed the site to businesses that would create at least one job per 1,000 square feet of building, and was pleased to negotiate a deal with Terrybear Urns and Memorials/River of Goods. The companies wanted a consolidated headquarters for their growing wholesale design, import, and Internet distribution businesses. Terry and Margie Commerford, the owners of these businesses, wanted to move to a neighborhood where they could create a special place, not only for their employees, but also for the surrounding community. The businesses worked with a neighborhood organization called Frogtown Farms to install community gardens in underutilized green space.
$1,800,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
$600,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Revolving Loan
$1,200,000 MN Department of Employment & Economic Development
$500,000 Metropolitan Council
$3,000,000 Saint Paul Port Authority
$500,000 Saint Paul Port Authority Loan
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development
- Metropolitan Council
- Saint Paul Port Authority
- City of Saint Paul
- Ramsey County, District 7 Community Council
- Terrybear Urns and Memorials
- River of Goods
- Anchor Bank
- Short Elliot Hendrickson
- Liesch Associates
- Perry Bloin Architecture
- McGough Construction