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Ford outlines plans for clearing St. Paul plant site

After clearing and cleaning up the site, there will be environmental reviews before Ford can sell it to someone else.
After clearing and cleaning up the site, there will be environmental reviews before Ford can sell it to someone else.

There wasn’t much new information unveiled Wednesday night, when Ford officials met with community members in Highland Park to discuss what’s next in the closing of its longtime plant.

But there was a continuing sense of finality, as the car company looks beyond the Dec. 19 plant closing and the steps it will take to dismantle the plant and decontaminate the site to make it ready for eventual redevelopment.

“On a personal level, I found it hard to watch a presentation on plant decommissioning and building take-down,” said Merritt Clapp-Smith, a senior planner at the city’s Planning and Economic Development department, who’s working on the site’s transition. “It’s hard to see the end of the Ford plant legacy in St. Paul.”

About 800 workers will lose their jobs when the plant closes next month; while Ford had talked about closing the plant for years — and has kept it open much longer than originally planned — there was much consternation when the final date was announced earlier this year.

After clearing and cleaning up the site, there will be environmental reviews before Ford can sell it to someone else.

It’s hard to know who might buy the site and for what purpose, but city officials, together with residents of the area, have been looking for years at possible reuses. Mixed development with some green space, with businesses that pay above minimum wage, are all on the wish list.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 11/11/2011 - 08:04 am.

    “Mixed development with some green space, with businesses that pay above minimum wage, are all on the wish list.”

    Because, you know, this area already has way too much manufacturing.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/14/2011 - 08:21 am.

    Put me on record, today 11/14/2011: This site will be a weed lot in 2020.

    There is no way the present leadership in SP can successfully transition such a large piece of prime property to any purpose which any competent investor will have the least interest in participating.

    My guess at the first flop the city rolls out?

    A “global village” featuring cobblestone streets (upon which cars will not be allowed to travel)leading to “diverse, sustainable retail ‘shops’ (not stores)”, bike and hiking trails and of course, plenty of “artists lofts”…gonna be really fun to watch!

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