Ford Motor Company closed its Twin Cities Assembly Plant in December 2011 and since then has been preparing the property for take down and disposition. The City of Saint Paul is working with Ford to help ensure that site demolition is handled carefully to minimize noise, dust and disruption, and that the property is appropriately cared for while the company searches for a buyer. Site demolition will include removal of the buildings and slabs, continued environmental testing, and fencing or seeding as needed to address security, erosion control and aesthetics.
When vehicle production ended, the Ford Plant hosted several activities and training exercises for local, state, and national police, fire, and military units.
Major building demolition has begun and will take up to two years to complete.
Preparation of the site for sale and redevelopment is a complicated and lengthy process as outlined below. Following are the main activities involved:
- Equipment removal (2012-2013)
- Environmental decommissioning (2013)
- Application for demolition permits from the City of Saint Paul and various permits from Capitol Region Watershed and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
- Building Demolition (2013)
- Slab removal and related environmental work as needed (2014-2015)
- Site restoration - includes grading of site, establishment of storm water drainage, and seed with native landscaping (2015-2017)
- Environmental testing under the buildings and sitewide (2014-2016)
- Environmental remediation (2016-2017? - date for completion of remediation to be determined)
All decommissioning related activity will be limited to the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Truck traffic entering or exiting the site must be limited to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Ford Land and its contractors have extensive experience decommissioning other properties around the country and are bringing that knowledge and expertise to the Saint Paul Ford site. However, each site is unique and adjustments for local circumstances are expected throughout the course of the work. Estimated timelines for the decommissioning work are noted above, but are subject to change and will be updated accordingly.
What's Happening This Month
Demolition of buildings and removal of building slabs on the main campus of Ford's former assembly plant site is complete, save for a few small foundation remnants being handled during the environmental review and remediation process. Grading and seeding to stabilize most exposed soils is complete and low, mixed grasses are growing. A large pile of crushed, clean concrete sits in the middle of the site, to be reused on site for future fill material.
Comprehensive environmental testing sitewide was completed in 2015 and testing results were submitted to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (see 'Environmental Assessment' page for more information). Follow up testing on the more impacted areas on the site, as well as environmental remediation of small, discreet areas across the site, is underway in 2016. Arcadis is the firm hired by Ford to manage the site's environmental testing and remediation, with oversight from Ford's Environmental Quality Office and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The former northwest corner of the original plant facade was disassembled and is being stored until a plan is identified for reassembly and use of the facade elements somewhere on the redeveloped site. Prior to demolition, plant buildings were cleared of equipment, which was shipped to other Ford sites for reuse or recycled as scrap metal. Most utilities to the site have been disconnected, except as required to support construction trailers, security, and fire suppression. Removal of asbestos and other regulated materials from buildings was handled prior to demolition and transported to waste facilities specialized in handling such materials.
- Ford site property management - Mike Hogan, Ford at 612-203-0917.
- Environmental assessment - Amy Hadiaris, MN Pollution Control Agency at 651-757-2402.
Master Site Plan for Decommissioning
On December 20, 2012, the Zoning Committee of the Saint Paul Planning Commission held a public hearing on the application, which included a presentation by the applicant (20 MB) covering key elements of the proposed activities and techniques to manage impacts. The Zoning Committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of the master site plan to the Planning Commission, which on December 28, 2012, unanimously passed a resolution of findings and conditions for approval. A copy of the approved application is posted below and a staff report about it can be found under the meeting date on the Zoning Committee web page.
Ford Site Plan Application
WARNING - Files below are VERY large, will be slow to load and view, and may create difficulties for dial-up or portable devices.
- Table of Contents and Section I - Summary of Work; Stormwater Quality Impacts; Traffic Plan; Concrete Crushing; Subsurface Tunnel Evaluation Report (13 MB)
- Section II - Figures of property and general demolition plans and activities (9 MB)
- Section III - Redevelopment Timeline (medium size)
- Section IV - Photos of Wixom plant demolition (33 MB)
- Section V - Demolition Sequencing images (2 MB)
- Section VI - Renderings of before and after demolition (9 MB)
- Section VII - Demolition Phasing images (24 MB)
- Section VIII - Phase 1 Building Demolition detail sheets (utilities, grading, erosion control) and some Phase 2 & 3 information (35 MB)
- Section IX - Phases 2 & 3 Slab and Foundation Removals and Site Restoration (grading, erosion, seeding) (following links all 6400 KB or smaller) -- Sheets 1-10; 11-20; 21-30; 31-40; 41-50; 51-60; 61-65; 66-70; and 70-79