by Bill Hudson, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With a ceremonial snip of a red ribbon, the wraps are off the building where fashion was once king.

Built in 1962, the former Dayton’s, Marshall Field’s and more recently Macy’s department store was an old building in need of a new use. The five-story brick structuresits in the heart of downtown St. Paul and was a vital symbol of the area’s retailing.

Adds St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter: “What if we created this centerpiece for downtown, but that question requires partnerships.”

After partnering with the Prairie Island Indian Community, the St. Paul Port Authority, Tria Orthopedics and the Minnesota Wild, the building’s $71 million facelift is nearly complete.

“It’s definitely one of the more challenging projects we’ve ever had,” said Josh Krsnak, president of Hemple Companies.

In just 12 months, Hempel’s contractors transformed the building, putting in walls of glass where before there was only artificial lighting.

Walgreens and Tria now occupy the ground floor off Wabasha Avenue. The offices of Minnesota Housing Finance Agency fill what had been the furniture floor.

Treasure Island Center’s crown jewel has to be the new practice rink for the Minnesota Wild.

What had at one time been a rooftop surface parking lot is now a sparkling sheet of ice. Besides the Wild, it will also serve as home ice for Hamline University hockey teams.

For NHL players practicing their playmaking skills, it will serve as their permanent practice home – one with a view of downtown St. Paul.