St. Paul Eyes 135-Acre Urban Village

A rezoning plan calls for as many as 4,000 residential units on a site owned by Ford, which is expected to be put on the market by early 2018.

By IvyLee Rosario 

 Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan

Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan

The Saint Paul Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of the Ford Site redevelopment’s Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan and forward it to the Saint Paul City Council and Mayor Chris Coleman. A hearing on the plans will take place this fall.

“The Ford Site represents a once-in-a-lifetime development opportunity,” said Coleman, in prepared remarks. “The overarching goal is for these nearly 135 acres of land to reemerge as a model for 21st Century Communities and remain an asset to the city of Saint Paul for generations to come. This well thought-out plan lays the foundation for a vibrant livable community on the banks of the Mississippi River.”

Mixed-Use Master Plan

The master plan will divide the 135-acre site in Saint Paul, Minn., into six districts, four of which will be designated multifamily areas and two for commercial and mixed-use: 

  • river residential: two- to four-story mansion-style units or carriage houses
  • residential mixed-low: three- to five-story townhomes or multifamily residential buildings
  • residential mixed-mid: three- to six-story multifamily residential buildings with retail
  • residential mixed-high: four- to 10-story multifamily residential buildings with retail, office and other services
  • business-mixed: three- to six-story multifamily with retail, office and services
  • gateway: three- to six-story commercial and office

The site is currently zoned primarily for industrial use, so the rezoning will establish the vision for the mixed-use urban village. The Ford Site redevelopment plan outlines specific affordability goals, ensuring that a mix of housing types will be available. The plan also calls for more than 20 percent of the lot to offer public parks, trails and open space to create a green development. A water feature will run across the site from north to south, serving as both a public amenity and a storm water management system.

To facilitate the growing amount of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, the development will be incorporated into the existing street grid, ensuring that it is integrated into the neighborhood and assists with efficient traffic flow. Upon completion, the site could support up to 1,500 jobs and create between 2,400 and 4,000 residential units. It is anticipated that Ford Motor Co. will put the site on the market in late 2017 or early 2018. Once adopted, the Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan will set the redevelopment schedule as the phased project spans over the next 15 to 20 years.

“Large development sites require a strong master plan that balances residential and commercial development and green space,” said Betsy Reveal, chair of the Saint Paul Planning Commission, in prepared remarks. “After considering input from many community members and organizations, the Planning Commission is confident that the Ford Site Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan will position this site for future-looking development to fit the needs of our growing city.”

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