St. Paul Port Authority to purchase building designated as backup morgue

A building that was a designated backup morgue when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit is now for sale.

The St. Paul Port Authority’s board of commissioners approved the purchase of the warehouse Minnesota bought last year to serve as an overflow morgue during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The State of Minnesota purchased the former Bix Produce building on L’Orient Avenue in St. Paul for $5.5 million in May 2020. The building would have been capable of holding more than 5,000 bodies, but it was never needed. 

The Port Authority plans to acquire the property for $5.65 million and close by Nov. 30. 

After purchasing the building, the Port Authority has said it needs to determine job goals for the site and secure a buyer or partner who can deliver on economic development goals.