MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The plans for development of the Ford plant site in St. Paul were revealed Wednesday night by Ryan Companies.
The 122-acre site, which sits on land next to the Mississippi River and the Highland Park neighborhood, will include retail and office space, along with a wide range of living options.
Fifty acres will be devoted to public and open space, which includes green areas, plazas, bike trails and little league ball fields.
The redevelopment could take up to 20 years to complete.
The city of St. Paul and its residents have debated what do with the site for the past decade.
“This is a unique site, its on the banks of the Mississippi River, its equal distance to downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis, its close to the airport and its in a premiere neighborhood,” said St. Paul City Council member, Chris Tolbert.
Tolbert represents Ward 3 in St. Paul. He believes Ford did the right thing by picking a Minnesota company to develop the property.
“We’re excited that they chose Ryan because Ryan has a past and a future in our neighborhood,” said Tolbert. “That’s important and one of the things we wanted.”
Ryan Companies held several listening sessions for residents, which exposed a divide in what people wanted and what they didn’t want on the site. Residents pushed for the master plan to include acres of open space retail and housing that includes apartments, condos, town homes rowhouses, senior homes and affordable housing.
“I’m actually really happy they are going for high-density housing because we need more housing in this city and we need lower cost housing in this city,” said Hepner. “I am concerned about traffic because its already crazy over here.”
Henry Anderson and his fellow Cretin-Derham Hall High School students have also been paying close attention to the master plan reveal.
“In my econ class we looked at the economical impacts it could have on the area on the city and state and as a whole,” said Anderson. “In our class there were certainly polarizing opinions on it.”
They hope the new plan will heal the divide in neighborhoods, and bring people together for a project that is sure to make St. Paul proud.