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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of the largest developments in the city's history is in the works. The 125 acre site is poised to be completely rebuilt. A mix of commercial, industrial, residential, and parkspace will replace the former Ford factory.

http://stpaul.gov/21stcenturycommunity

"As Ford's former Twin Cities Assembly Plant is redeveloped in the coming years, a 21st Century Community will emerge on the more than 125 acres of land situated along the Mississippi River. Saint Paul residents have spoken loud and clear: this site will be a livable, mixed use neighborhood that looks to the future with clean technologies and high quality design for energy, buildings and infrastructure. This site will support walking, biking and transit, and provide services, jobs and activities that every generation can enjoy. A 21st Century Community is about to unfold. "




Here's just one of the many possibilities of how the site could evolve into.
 

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I really have VERY high hopes for this project! It's a very rare opportunity to build a "city within a city!" I would LOVE to see the site being built with compact buildings at LEAST 6-12 floors if not 12-20 :)

They could design an entire community that lives above retail compacting space limiting the needed roads to the outsides of the community with large parking ramps on the edges. A few well placed skyways or tunnels for access to those ramps, to allow more inner streets in the core of the space to be car-ess roads! So much potential I sure hope the city tries to think creative to encourage dense development.

Obviously if a single developer tries to develop the entire project at once it will most likely be very underwhelming with buildings in height of 3-6 wider green spaces and investing much less capital. I would hope several investors team together to create several phases in which to complete the project slowly to allow for more investment opportunity to increase the value of the project in the long run.

With being directly on the proposed A line and next to the river with lovely views and the bike trail there is HUGE value. I really hope we get something very urban and compact It could even be what Uptown is for Minneapolis but for St. Paul! I think Minni-Paul would be the PERFECT name! I mean it's 1/3 the size of downtown St. Paul. Or how about Rivertown. Either way I really hope they think outside of the box and build a space like no other.

I usually have low standards but this... the opportunity to create a dense community is HUGE! Couldn't the city have built the outline city street grid and do RFP for EACH block one at a time?

I just see too many videos of what countries like UAE are doing building cities from scratch and with such great concepts! Can't we get just a touch of that here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Keep in mind the land belongs to Ford, not the city. They get to sell it how they feel fit. Be it one master developer or multiple ones. It will almost certainly go to one company though. Unless said company doesn't want to own certain parcels. The southern end is within flight paths of the airport, so tall buildings are out, even residential units are probably not going to happen. The southern end has a higher chance of pollution as well. So it's not very desirable. Might be to an industrial or commercial developer. But not residential.

The city can set rules requiring a more formal street grid. But that may not even be beneficial given the land's shape and potential new uses built on it.
 

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I really have VERY high hopes for this project! It's a very rare opportunity to build a "city within a city!" I would LOVE to see the site being built with compact buildings at LEAST 6-12 floors if not 12-20 :)
There are severe height restrictions in this area because of the river and the airport.
 

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Two companies will compete to assist the City of St. Paul meet its development goals for the former Ford manufacturing site in Highland Park.
The firms are Newton, Mass.-based Abramson & Associates Inc. and Baltimore, Md.-based RTKL Associates Inc.

Link to the story is found
HERE




St. Paul hopes to create a "world-class connected, livable, and green" project on the site...
Many people seem to know A LOT about developers, maybe somebody has some insights as to the track record to these two developers? Are we in store for a Beautiful lot... or a bland suburban car focused design?

Thoughts? (the deadline for the RFP already expired but the designs have not been released to the public as far as I know.... yet)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
These companies will just be advisors for the city. The most important piece will be who buys the site. That's still 1-2 years away.
 

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I really have VERY high hopes for this project! It's a very rare opportunity to build a "city within a city!" I would LOVE to see the site being built with compact buildings at LEAST 6-12 floors if not 12-20 :)

They could design an entire community that lives above retail compacting space limiting the needed roads to the outsides of the community with large parking ramps on the edges. A few well placed skyways or tunnels for access to those ramps, to allow more inner streets in the core of the space to be car-ess roads! So much potential I sure hope the city tries to think creative to encourage dense development.

Obviously if a single developer tries to develop the entire project at once it will most likely be very underwhelming with buildings in height of 3-6 wider green spaces and investing much less capital. I would hope several investors team together to create several phases in which to complete the project slowly to allow for more investment opportunity to increase the value of the project in the long run.

With being directly on the proposed A line and next to the river with lovely views and the bike trail there is HUGE value. I really hope we get something very urban and compact It could even be what Uptown is for Minneapolis but for St. Paul! I think Minni-Paul would be the PERFECT name! I mean it's 1/3 the size of downtown St. Paul. Or how about Rivertown. Either way I really hope they think outside of the box and build a space like no other.

I usually have low standards but this... the opportunity to create a dense community is HUGE! Couldn't the city have built the outline city street grid and do RFP for EACH block one at a time?

I just see too many videos of what countries like UAE are doing building cities from scratch and with such great concepts! Can't we get just a touch of that here?
I'm just curious. Why? I like development as much as the next person, and I think this is a great oppurtunity for the city of St. Paul, but really? Does the Highland Park neighborhood need or even want buildings 6 stories or higher, especially in the flight path of an international aiport? Is there a lack of housing in the Twin Cities metro area that would require such a huge increase in the housing supply? Are people in the Highland Park neighborhood that unhappy with where they live? I get the opposite feeling.

I actually think 3-6 story buildings are not only good for this area, but the only thing that will work. Anything would be better than, say for example, the sea of parking lots that is University Avenue. If this area is developed, I think there is a lot of potential for the area to be dense, but yet not too dense. I just don't get the feeling that people who can choose to live anywhere on Earth would choose St. Paul, Minnesota over New York, or Tokyo, or any other mega city, or even Minneapolis for density. I think that people in St. Paul appreciate having a small town lifestyle with all (most of) the amenities offered in major cities. But the idea that the area needs 20 story buildings is clearly not what most people in St. Paul want. And I agree with them.
 

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I'm just curious. Why? I like development as much as the next person, and I think this is a great oppurtunity for the city of St. Paul, but really? Does the Highland Park neighborhood need or even want buildings 6 stories or higher, especially in the flight path of an international aiport? Is there a lack of housing in the Twin Cities metro area that would require such a huge increase in the housing supply? Are people in the Highland Park neighborhood that unhappy with where they live? I get the opposite feeling.

I actually think 3-6 story buildings are not only good for this area, but the only thing that will work. Anything would be better than, say for example, the sea of parking lots that is University Avenue. If this area is developed, I think there is a lot of potential for the area to be dense, but yet not too dense. I just don't get the feeling that people who can choose to live anywhere on Earth would choose St. Paul, Minnesota over New York, or Tokyo, or any other mega city, or even Minneapolis for density. I think that people in St. Paul appreciate having a small town lifestyle with all (most of) the amenities offered in major cities. But the idea that the area needs 20 story buildings is clearly not what most people in St. Paul want. And I agree with them.
With a level of density you can start to create grander infostructure. Let's imagine the airport is not next door and that 20 floor were realistic. Imagine for a moment this entire block was carless! All along the edge would be building with underground parking and parking podiums. Inner buildings would be connected via skyway or tunnel system. Allowing residents quick and easy access to there home from parking OR transit stations via the A line or city bus. Also quick and easy access to an above ground bike parking ramp along the bike trail. The traditional space for streets could be outside parks and green spaces for people to enjoy! Ok perhaps one road for cars to allow residents better access for move in's out's pickup's and delivers ect ect. It would be wonderful to see the community push VERY aggressively towards a less car focused community while still allowing residents to have a car but not to be able to directly drive to their home. I know kinda a weird concept but it reminds me of the ABC ramps in Minneapolis with direct exit ramps they can collect the cars even before they have an opportunity to clog downtown with car traffic! Now thank you for humoring me in this fantasy scenario...

In reality, 6-8 floors would be great just as well. Maybe sections of retail on first floors down a "main street". A direct pathway and bike trails to the existing river trails and creating better access to the riverfront for residents and visitors to the shops. I just hope they greatly limit the parking lots at this site.

Yet, I have a feeling that the site will be very car focused, so much so it would be more common for residents to drive over to lunds than to walk.
 

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The traditional space for streets could be outside parks and green spaces for people to enjoy!
That sounds really nice. However, most houses in St. Paul already have that green space. I think you are taking what you have in Minnesota for granted. I live in a city that is denser than anything in the U.S. and Europe. There are very few green spaces, and houses with yards much smaller than the yards in St. Paul or Minneapolis cost a fortune. Plus this city, despite having one of the best subway systems in the hemisphere, is still overrun by cars, buses, taxis, etc. When you live in a very dense city you can appreciate what people in the cities have. I think that is why people resist these big buildings coming in and dispupting their neighborhoods. It ruins the great quality of life that already exists.

Besides, the cities are a sprawled out mess. You will never be able to get public transit that covers the entire metro area. Imagine trying to get from Woodbury to Minnetonka or from Inver Grove Heights to Champlin via public transportation. It's not possible. If you live in the cities without a car, you really don't have access to most of the metro area. That's great, until someone offers you a job way out in the burbs, then you need that car.

I think there are better areas for denser development, like Uptown, University Ave (including the new soccer stadium site), the Sears site on Nicollet and Lake, and of course, the downtowns. Even the Southdale-Galeria area has added a lot of good density in the last few years.
 

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It will be very exciting to watch this development unfold! My biggest hope they will line the section along Ford Parkway with retail to reinforce and enhance this vibrant retail corridor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It will be very exciting to watch this development unfold! My biggest hope they will line the section along Ford Parkway with retail to reinforce and enhance this vibrant retail corridor.

I'm pretty sure they will.

At a recent public meeting I was surprised to hear that most people were actually opposed to SFH on the site.
 

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This is an old article, but details what St. Paul is doing and their vision for the site.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_27344197/st-paul-looks-overseas-ford-plant-development-ideas

Eager to see the vacant Ford plant in Highland Park redeveloped into a transit-friendly, energy-efficient model of modern living, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman plans a whirlwind trip through at least three European countries this March.
Coleman hopes to rezone the land and build a "21st century community" that includes light industry, walkable living space and green space near the Mississippi River. The property spans more than 120 riverfront acres inside Highland Park, a higher-end neighborhood, posing a rare urban redevelopment opportunity.
 

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Besides, the cities are a sprawled out mess. You will never be able to get public transit that covers the entire metro area. Imagine trying to get from Woodbury to Minnetonka or from Inver Grove Heights to Champlin via public transportation. It's not possible. If you live in the cities without a car, you really don't have access to most of the metro area. That's great, until someone offers you a job way out in the burbs, then you need that car.
But changes in the population distribution of the area would change its "center of gravity" and the location decisions of employers and retailers, right?

Obviously one project won't have even a miniscule effect, but still in the short and medium term the addition of urban density to this part of the city would still provide needed working places and housing options and it would not turn MSP into an urban jungle like Santiago either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
The city of St. Paul's HRA will be voting on the establishment of a TIF district for the site at there next meeting. This is to help fund future infrastructure needs on the site. To give a sense of the scale of the development, the city anticipates 750,000 sq ft of commercial and civic use space and approximately 3,900 new housing units.

Construction of infrastructure would begin in 2019. Vertical construction of buildings in 2020. Total development to be completed by end of 2033 valued at $1.367 billion. Keep in mind these are just projections and estimates, but you get a sense of how huge this could be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
A good article regarding the Ford site.

What's going on with redevelopment of St. Paul's Ford plant site?

"...“The questions we get a lot are, ‘When are you going to market?’ and ‘When are you going to find a developer?’ ” said Rob Cory, the director of Global Real Estate Services for Ford. The company still owns the bulk of the 135 acres that are the first to be redeveloped. It plans to do the environmental remediation itself and then sell to a master real-estate developer to handle the redevelopment.

“Ideally, in the real-estate world, I’d like to time the finishing of the sale process with the finishing of the remediation,” Cory said. “Maybe at the beginning of ’18, middle of ’17 we would start going to market. Ford has told me to say that sometime in 2019 we would be done.”..."
 

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Remember how hard St. Paul and the State tried to convince Ford to stay. Now Ford is bringing back the Ranger pickup. Loss of some 800 good paying jobs. Well at least what's coming next is better in other ways.
 

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Remember how hard St. Paul and the State tried to convince Ford to stay. Now Ford is bringing back the Ranger pickup. Loss of some 800 good paying jobs. Well at least what's coming next is better in other ways.
That's what hurts the most, bringing back the Ranger... But made in Mexico. It took a decade but really 1600+ jobs that built a neighborhood got outsourced to Mexico.
 
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