Development plan for former Ford site in St. Paul unveiled

- A consulting and development firm released its concept plan for the former Ford site in St. Paul.

At a meeting at Highland Park Middle School Wednesday night, Ryan Companies unveiled its vision for the 122-acre site. Ryan Companies came up the with plan after a series of listening sessions with residents and meetings with city officials. The group also worked closely with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to make sure the land was cleaned up to residential standards.

They plan to develop the land into a mixture of open space and private development. More than 50 acres is designated for public and open space, which will include baseball fields, green spaces and trails for bikes and pedestrians. There are plans for retail, healthcare, office spaces as well as residential options ranging from homes to senior living to affordable housing.

Residents who attended the meeting had mixed reactions to the plan.

“My only concern, I live very close, is the density issue,” said Peter Menge, a resident. “I can see Ford Parkway turning into a parking lot, I don't know how they're going to get people in and out I just don't think mass transit is going to work."

"I think that Ryan Companies did a great job, looks like that's going to happen," said Deborah Bannelli, a resident.

Ryan Companies estimates the project will bring more than $1 billion of economic development to the area. The construction work will create about 14,000 jobs.

The St. Paul City Council still has to approve the master plan and the zoning amendment requests. Ryan Companies expects to begin infrastructure work in the fall of 2019.

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