Snow won’t stop public meeting on future of St. Paul’s Ford Plant site

Area residents are invited to a meeting tonight on the future of the Ford Plant Site in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood. It will go on as scheduled, despite today’s snow.

The meeting is at St. Catherine University, in the Jeanne D’Arc Auditorium, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The meeting will look at progress and priorities, and what’s next, followed by an open house.

The city is working to set priorities for redevelopment of the old plant sote. Ford has torn down the buildings and is preparing the 125-acre site for sale.

City officials want to convey their plans for the site and get input from residents. The city’s working goal for the site, for now, is:

“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.These steps are underway:

These planning steps are in the works:

  • Zoning Research and Analysis
    The city will initiate work to rezone the site to guide future use and design. Public meetings to review zoning priorities for the site will begin in November 2014. Rezoning is expected to be completed by early 2016.
  • Jobs and Employment Workgroup
    This workgroup will evaluate potential employment at the site and how to reflect the changing patterns of the 21st century workforce. Partners including GreaterMSP, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Department of Employment and Economic Development, Saint Paul Port Authority, and Saint Paul Building and Construction Trades Council will work on identifying neighborhood friendly employers for the site.
  • Energy and Sustainability
    An energy and sustainability study evaluating how renewable energy resources as well as energy efficient technologies can help achieve a site with minimal energy use profile will be conducted. Ramboll Energy will be conducting the study to evaluate options for renewable, on-site energy generation. Funding for this study was provided by the McKnight Foundation and additional assistance is being provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. The study is expected to be ready by summer 2015.
  • Transportation Planning
    Ongoing transportation planning will address a multi-modal approach for residents to move between living, learning, working and recreating in the community. This will include discussions about linking to existing mass transit opportunities, such as bus and light rail, with walkable and bikeable elements.

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