Optimism in downtown St. Paul as Osborn370 lands tenants

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Bringing jobs into downtown St. Paul has become the focus for departing Mayor Chris Coleman. His final push before beginning a full-time campaign for governorship is centered around bringing tech jobs into the city center, anchored by a “tech hub” at the former Ecolab Tower at 370 Wabasha Street.

The plan is called Full Stack St. Paul. Here’s their pitch:

The building will be remodeled, updated, and will reopen as Osborn370. And it will look something like this:

Rendering courtesy of ESG Architecture & Design

This will ultimately be a test of the city’s vitality; proof that either the recent boom for downtown in other ways can sustain a flagging Central Business District (CBD), or that problems are insurmountable (and remain most prevalent).

We discussed in depth some of the issues still facing the capital’s urban core (St. Paul still searching for downtown business boom) and recent announcement has Gander Mountain joining Cray Supercomputer in a move from Lowertown to suburban Bloomington.

Because the Mall of America, apparently, holds the key to the future.

But optimism is the name of the game in downtown St. Paul. And with reports that 3M is looking for space in the city center, work on Treasure Island Center (former Macy’s building) nearing completion, and renovation of the old Woolworth’s building well underway offering more Class A office space, it seems that more than a few new jobs will be joining the influx of residents and visitors bringing downtown St. Paul back to life.

And Osborn 370, as the crown jewel of the downtown jobs plan, is already proving its worth: Software companies Lighthouse, Reeher, and OppSource have signed on, and, keeping it within the family, Structural will be leasing space as well: Structural is the new company by GovDelivery founder Scott Burns, who is also a partner in one of the building’s founding investors.

GovDelivery recently sold for millions and millions of dollars.

These companies make good on the building’s tech future selling point, pre-leasing before Ecolab has even fully vacated the premises to their new home a few blocks away.

Bridgewater Bank is also committed, planning a 1,000-square-foot office on the ground level and a 4,500-square-foot office on the 15th floor. St. Paul-based Paul Davis Restoration, and North Dakota-based KLJ engineering will soon call Osborn 370 home as well.