Ford Site Parks and Open Spaces

The Ford Site Master Plan, adopted by the Saint Paul City Council in 2017, is the culmination of a decade of planning for the site. It provides a framework to guide the mixed-use redevelopment of the 122-acre main assembly plant parcel and the adjacent 13-acre rail yard. It does not include the 22-acre river parcel (“Area C”).

The following text reflects the Ford Site Master Plan as adopted in 2017. For current versions of the Ford Site Master Plan, see Master Developer and Amendments.

More than 20% of the Ford Site is designated to be public parks, trails and open space – spread throughout the site to create a vibrant, welcoming development. This includes:

  • City parks
  • Pedestrian and bicycle pathways lined with vegetation
  • Stormwater feature, designed to look and feel like a linear public park centered along a water feature

Following the City’s parkland dedication ordinance, the City can only legally require 9% of property to be designated specifically as parkland during rezoning, though a developer could decide to build more parkland than required by City ordinance. Additional land can be set aside for stormwater treatment (with park-like qualities) and public right-of-way (roads and sidewalks) in addition to the 9% parkland dedication ordinance.

Additionally, the City is supportive of efforts by private groups to secure space on-site for future recreation fields, like the Little League baseball fields that exist on the site today.

Stormwater feature

A prominent water feature will run through the site from north to south, serving both as a public amenity and as a stormwater management system.

Capitol Region Watershed District and the City of Saint Paul completed a Sustainable Stormwater Management Study in 2016 to enhance potential outcomes for stormwater infrastructure on the Ford Site. The study lays the groundwork for future stormwater infrastructure, with one of the goals being to “daylight” Hidden Falls Creek in Saint Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood, identified as a priority in the City’s adopted Great River Passage plan. The Ford stormwater infrastructure plan outlines transformation of the site by featuring a stormwater-based amenity for the community that reconnects the community to parks and the Mississippi River.

The City is actively looking at innovative approaches to stormwater management on a variety of sites throughout the city, with Ford Site redevelopment being a clear opportunity to consider a district-wide approach.

Related studies