On Wednesday, June 1, the Saint Paul City Council voted unanimously to adopt the Hillcrest Master Plan, rezoning study, zoning text amendments and a related comprehensive plan amendment.

The approved 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.

“With affordable housing options, job opportunities nearby and public spaces for all of us to enjoy, the Hillcrest plan drives the big vision we share for dynamic, affordable communities for our residents to live, work and play,” said Mayor Melvin Carter.

“I am so grateful for the collective that came together to bring us to this point. We are taking a big step in bringing forward transformational change for the East Side and Saint Paul as a whole,” shared Councilmember Nelsie Yang, who represents the Hillcrest neighborhood. “I am both committed to and inspired by everyone’s vision to bring housing, especially deeply affordable housing, livable wage jobs, arts, environmental sustainability and more to this site.”

About the Master Plan Process

The Master Plan for the Hillcrest redevelopment has been a community-based process, with broad input from surrounding neighbors along with resident and business voices from across the city.

In 2019, the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was formed to provide input to City staff and consultants on the creation of the Master Plan. This group of residents and experts in housing, transportation and business met publicly more than a dozen times (including throughout the pandemic) to ensure community input into the process.

Through the work of the CAC, community priorities were identified and incorporated into the creation of the draft Master Plan. A Technical Advisory Committee of public agencies met on a parallel track to identify, address and evaluate technical policy priorities that have similarly been integrated into the final plan.

After making amendments related to residential density levels, affordable housing direction, a new trail connection and an equity-focused lens in procurement, ownership and job opportunities in the light industrial areas, the proposed Master Plan was unanimously recommended by the Saint Paul Planning Commission on April 15, 2022.

The approved Master Plan will facilitate the redevelopment of the former Hillcrest golf course into a community asset that brings jobs and light industry, housing and a new park. In addition, the plan outlines opportunities for public art, a transportation network including numerous multimodal trails, and robust sustainability policies including a preferred district stormwater concept and net zero carbon emissions goals.

Next Steps

The adopted Master Plan will guide the work of the Saint Paul Port Authority, the owners and developers of the site, in bringing the project to life.

Four community engagement workgroups, focused on urban design, sustainability, outside spaces and housing, are underway and will collaborate with the Port Authority to inform decisions in alignment with approved Hillcrest Master Plan.

Basic site preparation, including platting and remediation, could begin during 2022.

Stay up-to-date on the Hillcrest redevelopment by subscribing to the project newsletter or visiting stpaul.gov/hillcrest.

Last Edited: June 3, 2022