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ST. PAUL, MN-A large US Bancorp office development under construction on the south side of the Mississippi River will be the first to be heated with hot water delivered from District Energy in St. Paul, the largest hot water district heating system in North America. The bank’s $79-million West Side Flats project, across the Mississippi River from Downtown St. Paul, recently began its first phase that includes a 150,000-sf office building and 1,440-vehicle five level parking ramp, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2002.

A 200,000-sf building is scheduled for completion about one year after the first phase in done. Apedestrian tunnel will connect the lobby for the two buildings and parking ramp.

The district heating program has been restricted to the north, or Downtown side, of the Mississippi River during its 18-year history. District Energy in St. Paul, an independent, non-profit program, received national attention when President George W. Bush visited the plant in May to unveil his administration’s energy policies.

US Bancorp and the developer, Opus Northwest, hope to achieve additional energy conservation through a deal with NSP’s Energy Assets program, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy Corp., in which it will provide its expertise on efficient lighting and electrical equipment designs.

At a recent groundbreaking ceremony for the development project, St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman said that “the two US Bancorp office buildings will not only be a boost to local employment, they will be an important part of the overall riverfront development.”

Jerry Grundhofer, president and chief executive officer of US Bancorp, which is based inMinneapolis, added his bank’s customers would benefit by having the services integrated anddelivered in one area.

“The development will house approximately 2,400 employees, many of them working in support and back-office bank operations,” he says.

Plans for the housing component of the West Side Flats, being developed by Jerry Trooien and George Sherman, will build more than 1,100 housing units ranging from high-price waterfront condominiums to government-assisted rental units. The housing units could also be tied into the district heating system.

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