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Planning for Redevelopment

Since 2007, the City of Saint Paul has explored the future of the Ford Site.  Below are information and links about the work done to date and what’s to come.  The results of this work will inform the public, the Ford Site Planning Task Force, developers and policy makers about the opportunities, impacts, and alternatives for redevelopment.


Ford Project Timeline
(shows key project activities described below and on these web pages)

Current Ford Planning Activities
The City of Saint Paul is engaged in the following work to position the Ford site for future redevelopment:

Zoning Research and Analysis
The city is drafting new zoning for the Ford site to guide future use and design. Public meetings to review redevelopment priorities for the site within various topic areas began in November 2014 and will continue through Fall 2015. Potential rezoning will be previewed for public comment in Fall 2015, with a formal rezoning proposal to be brought to Saint Paul Planning Commission and City Council for consideration in late 2015 and early 2016.

Jobs and Employment Workgroup - brief description
This workgroup is evaluating 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 are working to identify neighborhood friendly employment types for the site.

Energy and Sustainability - project description and timeline
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 is 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 and the City of Saint Paul. The study is expected to be ready by late 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. Transportation options are being evaluated in concert with the zoning study and will be coordinated with other transportation planning efforts currently underway.  The City of Saint Paul will hire transportation consultants to do a traffic modeling study of potential impacts from site redevelopment, to be conducted in summer and fall 2015.

Ford Planning Activities to Date

Identification of Vision, Goals, and Five Redevelopment Scenarios (2007)
In 2007, a consultant team hired by the City of Saint Paul worked with the Ford Site Planning Task Force, stakeholders, and the public to identify a general vision and goals for the site and to create alternative development scenarios for a potentially redeveloped Ford site.  This work is described in the Phase I Summary Report: 5 Major Development Scenarios, and all meeting information is provided in this table. The five scenarios intentionally represent a wide range of distinctive reuse options, and were developed for the purposes of analyzing the benefits and impacts of different land use and infrastructure choices. 

Ford Sustainable Redevelopment Reports (2009-2011)
The Sustainable Stormwater Feasibility Report for the Ford Plant Site, prepared by Barr Engineering, investigates the feasibility of low-impact stormwater management at the Ford Plant site and general recommendations to achieve it in redevelopment. This work was made possible under a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The Roadmap to Sustainability for the Saint Paul Ford Site and Executive Summary, prepared by a team of sustainable development and green design professionals, presents an important and ambitious agenda for sustainable redevelopment of the site and mechanisms to move that agenda forward in cooperation with policy makers, site developers and the community.  This work was made possible under a grant from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Green Manufacturing Potential for the Ford Site (2009)

The goal of returning quality jobs to the Ford site as part of redevelopment prompted this study to assess the potential of attracting green manufacturing. The Ford Site Green Manufacturing Reuse Study concluded that the Ford site is not strongly positioned for wholescale industrial reuse in today’s marketplace, particularly given constrained road access to interstates.  However, the study identified a window of opportunity for smaller scale industries potentially suited to neighborhood infill sites like Ford in the central cities.  This work was made possible under a grant from the Department of Commerce, as directed by the Minnesota State Legislature.

Ford Site Open Space (2010)
A Ford Site Open Space Workgroup convened in June 2010 to support and refine the work of the Ford Site Planning Task Force in the area of open space planning. The group’s work over eight months culminated in the report, Ford Site Open Space Guidelines.  Consultants from Hoisington Koegler Group and HR&A Advisors led the workgroup's efforts and prepared the report, with assistance from Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, the Department of Planning and Economic Development, and the Ward 3 City Council office of Patrick Harris.  

Fiscal Impact Model and Analysis of the Five Scenarios (2008 and 2011)
Using a fiscal impact model, City staff in conjunction with partners from Hennepin County and the University of Minnesota, estimated the tax revenue and service expenditures to be generated by each of the five redevelopment scenarios. The analysis was originally conducted in 2008 (Presentation of Fiscal Impact Model to the Ford Task Force October 6, 2008)., then updated in 2011 to reflect changes in the market and service costs, Fiscal Impact Analysis of the Five Scenarios - 2011.

Ford Site Zoning Framework Study (2012-13)
It’s critical that the City of Saint Paul ensure it has the proper tools, including zoning, at its disposal to efficiently and effectively facilitate redevelopment of the Ford site that reflects the comprehensive and ambitious vision and goals for it.

The Ford Site Zoning Framework Study, financing provided by the Metropolitan Council Metropolitan Livable Communities Fund, considered what type of zoning tools and districts could effectively provide for:

1. the range and mix of uses and scale of development contemplated in the five redevelopment scenarios;
2. economic, social and environmental sustainability that relates to the surrounding neighborhood; and
3. flexibility to respond to market changes that occur over the years it takes to redevelop the site.

Consultants from SEH, Cornejo Consulting and DPZ & Company conducted the study and team lead Bob Kost (SEH) presented an overview to the Planning Commission on October 19, 2013, detailing the analysis and potential zoning approaches. 

Information and findings from the report are found in the Executive Summary and Ford Zoning Framework Study report and City Zoning Analysis (also Appendices 2 - Case Studies and 3 - Site Transects).  Three presentations made by the consultant team to the Ford Site Planning Task Force during the study also describe the Ford Zoning Study process, interim findings, and evaluation of zoning approaches that informed the final report.

City staff will work with policy makers to determine when and how to pursue site zoning for redevelopment, informed by findings and recommendations from the report.

What's Next?

Master Developer Search (2015-16) -- Ford plans to issue a Request for Proposals in late 2015, represented by broker CB Richard Ellis.

Alternative Urban Areawide Review - AUAR (2016-17)

An AUAR is similar to an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for multiple development scenarios on the same property and typically takes 12 months to complete. The City of Saint Paul is expected to request an AUAR, paid for by the property owner, to be conducted on the redevelopment scenarios once the site environmental assessment is nearly complete and a prospective developer is identified. The AUAR will provide analyses that inform the community, developers and decisions makers about potential environmental and traffic impacts of redevelopment and mitigation measures that may be needed in response.


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