The city of Saint Paul has made a big step in the development of the Ford Plant site in Highland Park: the announcement of a single draft plan in the development of the new riverfront community.
Ten years of planning, a dozen studies, and community meetings have gone into the development of the plan. A master developer may be selected by 2018.
Some highlights from the plan:
- “It will have a neighborhood feel,” said city planner Merritt Clapp-Smith
- There will be six districts, and all but one “gateway district” in the northwest corner will feature a mixture of housing and business development. “Heights would ‘step up’ from the Mississippi River on the west, and get taller moving east,” writes the Pioneer Press (St. Paul just took a big step in the future look of redeveloped Ford plant, November 14).
- There will be a district “dominated by condos in two-story, mansion-style buildings; another primarily composed of townhomes, condos and apartments; and another featuring multifamily housing ranging in height from four to 10 stories wrapped around retail.”
- Many questions have arisen around traffic and parking concerns. “The goal is 4,000 new housing units, with a maximum of 1.5 parking spaces per unit. Shared parking ramps, small parking lots for 20 vehicles or fewer, and limited on-street parking are key features.”
- The area promises to be green-friendly, including bike paths, car sharing, electric vehicle ports, and LED lighting designed to not block out the night sky.
- A central stormwater feature will run north to south, with “‘a series of interesting and attractive spaces across the site.’ What begins to the north as a scenic stream could culminate in a pond at the south end that would be used for winter skating, and a connection to Hidden Falls Regional Park.”
- Plans call for a new traffic connection between Cretin Ave and Montreal Ave to reduce pressure on Ford Parkway.
- The next Ford site meeting is scheduled for November 21 at 7 p.m. at Lumen Christi Catholic Church. It will focus on transportation and traffic.
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