dale street garage
The long-shuttered auto repair garage at 156 N. Dale St.

A five-story apartment building planned near the southeast corner of Selby Avenue and Dale Street is moving ahead, with 81 units and 110 parking spaces. However, a former auto repair garage will not be torn down as part of the project.

Jim LaValle of TJL Development has dropped his appeal of a Saint Paul Heritage Preservation (HPC) decision that denied his request to demolish the one-story garage at 156 N. Dale St. The appeal was withdrawn prior to a City Council hearing on January 27.

The HPC denied requests to demolish the garage in March and October 2020. The HPC’s approval of the plans was required because the site is in the Historic Hill District.

LaValle originally planned to construct an L-shaped apartment building on vacant lots at 594 Selby and the garage site. When the first demolition permit was denied, the plans were changed to build the apartments on Selby only and to remodel the garage. That project was approved by the HPC and Planning Commission.

The deteriorated condition of the garage, which was built in 1915, then prompted LaValle to seek the demolition permit again and to expand the apartment building to the Dale parcel. The City Council hearing on the appeal was postponed in December to give time for LaValle and neighborhood residents to discuss the matter again.

LaValle said in a letter to the city that he is now looking at how to rehabilitate the former garage for an unspecified commercial use.

— Jane McClure

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