The 112-acre former Hillcrest Golf Course at the intersection of Larpenteur Avenue and McKnight Road is being redeveloped by the Saint Paul Port Authority as The Heights. The Master Plan will guide the work of the Saint Paul Port Authority in bringing the project to life. Around 1,000 living-wage, low-barrier jobs and 1,000 housing units are anticipated at full build out.
- Throughout 2022 and 2023, five community engagement workgroups, focused on housing, urban design, sustainability, outdoor spaces and public art will collaborate with the Port Authority to inform decisions in alignment with approved Hillcrest Master Plan.
- On September 30, 2022, the Saint Paul Port Authority announced that housing and light industrial development opportunities are available at The Heights.
- Pollution remediation and grading are expected to begin in 2022, with vertical construction in the second half of 2023.
On June 1, 2022, the Saint Paul City Council approved the Hillcrest Master Plan and associated actions (rezoning, zoning code amendments, and Comprehensive Plan amendment).
The Master Plan outlines future land uses and a new street network for the 112-acre former golf course on Saint Paul’s East Side. The Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED) worked alongside community members, consultants and the Saint Paul Port Authority to develop the Master Plan, and engaged residents throughout the process to determine how to build opportunity and community wealth on the site, now known as The Heights.
The overarching goals of the plan are to bring more housing, jobs and public amenities to the East Side of Saint Paul. The adopted vision will facilitate the creation of a vibrant jobs center with approximately 1,000 jobs, the potential for more than 1,000 housing units (including options affordable to low- and moderate-income households) and the development of new parkland.
Subsequent to the master plan process, an environmental review of the project was conducted.
The City of Saint Paul conducted an environmental review (Alternative Urban Areawide Review, or AUAR) for the proposed redevelopment of the Hillcrest site, in accordance with State of Minnesota requirements, which was adopted on September 20, 2022 after the required comment period and an agency objection period.
An AUAR is a planning tool for local governments to collect and analyze information to understand how different development scenarios will affect the environment of a community before development occurs. It also contains a set of mitigation measures intended to address the cumulative impacts resulting from development based on the scenarios.
Three different scenarios were studied. No specific development plans are approved by this process. Future development must conform to adopted City plans and policies, and it must fall within the range of impacts studied in the AUAR and abide by the relevant mitigations specified in the AUAR.
Community Advisory Committee
From October 2019 through December 2021, the Hillcrest Community Advisory Committee (CAC) met monthly to provide feedback to City staff and consultants on the master plan process. Early in the process, after the first round of community engagement, they affirmed community priorities to guide the master plan's creation (alongside other considerations). In their final meeting, they approved the contents of a letter that conveys their opinions on the staff-recommended draft master plan.