ST. PAUL, MN-As city officials prepare to demolish the 54,000-sf Wabasha Court building, some building owners are concerned that tearing the building down without plans for a new one will cut a critical link in the Downtown skyway system. The city council recently opened the way for its demolition by the end of the year.

The city plans to pay about $625,000 to demolish the 22-year-old building, which was recently bought by Minneapolis-based Frauenshuh Cos., and make a surface parking lot until a new project comes to fruition. But a number of buildings will be cut off from the city’s skyway system when the link between Wabasha Court and Marshall Field’s is severed.

Several tenants in the neighboring Hamm Building, as well as its owner, are unhappy about the prospects of being marooned – especially during frigid Minnesota winters. The Hamm building is owned by the Markham Co. of St. Paul.

Revitalizing the Wabasha Court corner at Sixth and Wabasha streets — across the street from the city’s only major retailer, Marshall Field’s, and the new Lawson Commons, which Frauenshuh also owns – has been a high priority for city development officials. They call Wabasha Court a blight on Downtown and a hindrance to other development.

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