Back in the July 1, 2018 issue of REVITALIZATION, we reported that the Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies US, Inc. had been awarded (by Ford Motor Company) the mixed-use redevelopment rights to Ford’s former main plant site in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
The 122-acre site was the former home of the Ford assembly plant for the Ford Ranger pickup.
Now, on October 12, 2018, Ryan Companies, unveiled their concept for the Ford Site Master Plan in a neighborhood presentation at Highland Park Middle School.
The concept is the culmination of years of effort and thousands of hours of community conversations, research and due diligence, and offers a collaborative vision for the future of the site.
Ryan Companies has recently been deeply engaged with city staff and the community in a series of group events where interested stakeholders shared their views on the approved plan. The Ryan team conducted a number of listening sessions with the general public, numerous meetings with neighborhood groups, and various resident gatherings, as well as dozens of meetings with City officials.
“We are grateful for the community’s thoughtful feedback during the past few months. We have received thousands of comments and data points which have helped our team shape a project that we are incredibly excited about and that brings forward the City’s vision,” said Tony Barranco, Senior Vice President of Development at Ryan Companies. “We know how important this site is to Saint Paul and its residents, and we take the role of building on the strong foundation of the Highland neighborhood seriously.”
In addition, Ryan Companies has devoted significant personnel to project due diligence including specialists in retail, multi-family and mixed use; construction, architectural, engineering, and environmental experts; and related specialists in legal, accounting, and community engagement.
Specifically, Ryan conducted extensive due diligence to verify that the 122-acre parcel has been remediated and that it is safe for development. The environmental remediation plan undertaken by Ford has been overseen and approved by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), the regulatory body that manages remediation action plans in the State of Minnesota.
“We have taken our due diligence period very seriously, and we would not move forward with the development if we were not confident that it was cleaned up to residential standards,” said Mike Ryan, Market Leader, Ryan Companies North Region.
The City of Saint Paul’s vision for the site is to create a connected, livable, mixed-use neighborhood that looks to the future. Ryan Companies’ plans honor and build upon that vision, creating an extension of this highly regarded neighborhood. The concept focuses on high quality retail, residential and commercial buildings in alignment with market conditions and future growth. Committed to maintaining and extending the character of the existing neighborhood and to thoughtful transitions into and out of the site, the plan will include:
Over 50 acres of public and open space that includes:
- World class central water feature;
- Multiple green spaces, with 1,000 trees and a range of traditional and creative green spaces including green rooftops and pocket parks;
- New grid road system;
- Public gathering spaces/plazas;
- Pedestrian & bicycle trails; and
- The Highland Little League ballfields.
And private development including:
- Wide range of for sale and rental housing options including:
- Single family homes;
- Senior living;
- Affordable housing; and
- Market-rate rental housing.
“After years of planning and discussing the future of this site we are thrilled to share the vision,” said Mike Ryan. “We believe we have struck the right balance of housing types, open space, amenities, shops, affordability and yes, ballfields! Our goal has been to build the City’s plan, to soften the edges of the site, maintain all that is beloved about Highland Park, while at the same time enhancing it. Neighborhoods like this are very rare, and I can’t imagine a location in the state where a new resident would rather live,” added Ryan.
Overall, the project is estimated to bring over $1 billion of economic development to the area. Specifically, the project will create over 14,000 construction jobs over the course of the redevelopment and approximately 1,300 permanent jobs in a variety of industries including: retail, healthcare, office, senior living, housing, fitness and building operations.
Ryan will submit their master plan and zoning amendment requests to the Saint Paul City Council for master site plan approval. In parallel, the Alternative Urban Areawide Review (AUAR) process will begin. Infrastructure work is anticipated to begin the Fall of 2019.
Unless otherwise credited, all images are courtesy of Ryan Companies.