Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.

Donate
Topics
This coverage is made possible by a grant from The Saint Paul Foundation.

St. Paul reviews planning efforts for prime Ford Plant site

A task force formed in 2007 has been looking at scenarios and considering zoning issues and possible streets, parks and open space on the site.

St. Paul’s Ford plant closed in December after churning out cars and trucks for 86 years on a 150-acre site on the Mississippi River in the Highland Park neighborhood.

But there was plenty of advance warning of the closure, and officials have long been considering how to best steer redevelopment plans so that they suit the neighborhood and the city’s goals.

A task force formed in 2007 has been looking at scenarios and considering zoning issues and possible streets, parks and open space on the site.

With such a lengthy time frame, and some of the reports dating back years, the task force will meet March 5 to review all the issues discussed so far and look ahead to what’s next.

Merritt Clapp-Smith, a senior planner for the city’s Department of Planning and Economic Development, said the meeting will be a review of things already presented, in an effort to bring everyone up to date on the highlights of what’s been presented and decided. There will be time for questions and discussion of how earlier decisions relate to the work ahead.

Ford is working on an environmental assessment, and will then have to conduct an environmental cleanup, which will include removal of many underground gas tanks on the property.

Article continues after advertisement

The city has a lofty ultimate vision for the site, as expressed in its planning documents:

The redeveloped Ford Site will balance economic, social and environmental sustainability in a way that conserves and improves the qualities and characteristics of the unique Highland Park neighborhood and Mississippi River Valley Corridor in which it sits, while advancing the City’s economic wealth and community goals, resulting in a forward-thinking 21st Century development.

Sustainability is a big goal, too.

The public is welcome to attend the March 5 meeting, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Ford site’s Training Center, near the  intersection of Ford Parkway and Mount Curve Boulevard.

Two Cities blog, which covers Minneapolis and St. Paul City Halls, is made possible in part by grants from The Saint Paul Foundation and the Carolyn Foundation.