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.
Copyright: vule / 123RF Stock Photo
Highland Park Real Estate Snapshot
Closed Sales October 2016: 388 (up 14.8%)
Average Sale Price October 2016: $321,937 (up 6.4%)
Median Days on Market October 2016: 27 (down 28.9%)
Average Percent of Original Sales Price October 2016: 97.9% (up 1.6%)
For a Market Snapshot of any area or a Market Analysis of your home, call 651-434-7887 or email RLGrossman@cbburnet.com
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Coldwell Banker Burnet – Highland Park
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Week in Review
Twin Cities Business and Minnpost reported this week on “Saint Paul’s Time to Shine,” a review of new development and real estate projects putting the capital city in the spotlight. Some of the projects include a new stadium for the Saint Paul Saints in Lowertown, the Light Rail Green Line, the redevelopment of the Seven Corners hardware store site Gateway sites, along with the redevelopment of the iconic post office site and a possible new practice home for the Stanley Cup-bound Minnesota Wild. (Go Wild!)
“We’ve always thought downtown St. Paul is an excellent spot to invest,” says [Rich] Pakonen [of PAK Properties], who says that the appealing vintage buildings are drawing people from outside of St. Paul as tenants.
He says that he’s surprised that more developers are not drawn to the St. Paul market. “Half of the Twin Cities population lives east of the river. It’s surprising how there’s less competition here,” says Pakonen.
Also in the news, Twin Cities.Com Pioneer Press and Environmental Protection Online are reporting the latest plan for the Ford Plant site in Highland Park to become the state’s largest “net-zero” energy redevelopment, by utilizing solar energy as well as thermal energy recaptured from the Army’s groundwater treatment plant already underway to heat and cool homes.
“The plan is tentative and hinges on factors such as securing the additional acreage needed for the solar farm, cleaning that land and finding private partners willing to finance the green projects.
“I would say the whole of the plan is ambitious, but, incrementally, we think things are very doable,” [Greg] Mack [the county’s project manager for the site’s Energy Integration Resiliency Framework] said. “None of this is new technology; it’s all proven. It’s finding partners to implement it (with us) in the time frame we have available.”
Yesterday, Twin Cities Business Journal reported Sherman Associates is also moving forward with the second phase of its development of the west side flats, a beautiful complex in downtown Saint Paul overlooking the Mississippi river, and featuring retailers and an undisclosed restaurant. Also moving forward, the plan by Timberland Partners to renovate Sibley Square into 134 market-rate apartment units.
“We like the demographics of Lowertown. We also did our market research. I think that’s a good, stable market. The employment that is in St. Paul has always been very stable,” says Ryan Sailer, vice president of development with Timberland Partners. “It was a market we felt comfortable with” (Minnpost).
West Metro Living
The west metro is looking forward to two new grocery redevelopment projects. Lunds and Byerly’s (now under the new combined name) is remodeling the 970 Prairie Center Drive store, while Oppidan Investment Co. plans a complete tear-down and rebuild of the Bally Total Fitness in Saint Louis Park site into a six-story, 177 unit apartment complex and newcomer grocery store, Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market. After some pushback from local residents, the project may be scaled back to 5 stories, but is moving forward.
South Side Shines
Apple Valley remains a great place to buy or sell, with home prices lingering above the metro area as a whole, reports the Minneapolis Area association of Realtors. The median sales price rose 7.5 percent from this month last year. Along with Saint Paul and the greater metro area, Miller Grossman specializes in Apple Valley and south metro real estate, with specialized and experienced knowledge in the area.