City holds public meeting to update community and gather initial feedback on a preliminary framework plan for the Ford Site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2016

Mollie Scozzari, Marketing & Public Relations Manager
City of Saint Paul, Department of Planning & Economic Development
651-266-6575 (o); 651-387-9045 (c)
mollie.scozzari@ci.stpaul.mn.us 

City holds public meeting to update community and gather initial feedback on a preliminary framework plan for the Ford Site

Community input opportunities will occur through spring 2017 on all aspects of the plan, including proposed land use and a transportation network

SAINT PAUL – Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman today will join City Councilmember Chris Tolbert and City planning staff to provide an update on the redevelopment of the former Ford site, including the release of a preliminary plan to identify zoning and outline a connected transportation network on the site. The public presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center at the University of St. Thomas, followed by an open house to further inform and gather initial community feedback. 

“By setting a vision and clearly outlining the kind of use we want and expect for the site we can help attract the right developer for this once-in-a-generation opportunity,” said Mayor Coleman. “I’m excited to reach this more concrete milestone in our planning for a 21st Century Community on this site.”

The City will collect community input on the plan tonight and through February 2017, by holding additional community meetings and through Open Saint Paul. A formal master plan, incorporating stakeholder feedback, is expected to go to the Planning Commission next spring and to City Council next summer, with final adoption anticipated by late summer or early fall. Ford has said they plan to begin marketing the site to a master developer in late 2017 or in 2018.

“After nearly a decade of community conversations, studies, and planning, city staff has compiled that information and will put forth the first draft of a formal zoning and public realm plan,” said Saint Paul City Councilmember, Chris Tolbert, who represents the area. “This preliminary framework is an important step, but we still have much work to do as a community as we move towards a final plan for this amazing site on the Mississippi River and in the heart of Highland Park.”

The site is currently zoned primarily for industrial use. Therefore, rezoning the property will provide guidelines to support the eventual development of a mixed-use urban village as envisioned by the community and other stakeholders. The rezoning will clearly identify the site’s redevelopment potential and market value to prospective buyers, while creating more certainty for the surrounding community.

“With any large development site, there needs to be a balance between green space and developed land. This preliminary framework reflects what we have heard from the community and learned from studies on the site, setting the groundwork to achieve the desired tax base and a high level of connectivity,” said Jonathan Sage-Martinson, Director for the Department of Planning and Economic Development. “The next eight months represent a critical phase in planning for the site’s future and we are excited to get feedback on the framework.”

WHEN
Monday, November 14
6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE
O’Shaughnessy Educational Center at the University of St. Thomas

ON-SITE CONTACT
Sara Thatcher
952-221-5368

###