UPDATE: Redevelopment planned for former Ford plant site in St. Paul

Updated: November 12, 2019 05:10 PM

Gov. Tim Walz and St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter announced a final deal for a major redevelopment of the Ford Motor Company site in the Highland Park neighborhood. The agreement with the master developer of the site, Ryan Companies, still needs city council approval before the end of the year.

Ryan Companies will oversee efforts revitalize the site's 122 acres with housing, retail and office space. During a press conference Tuesday, it was revealed that 50 acres of the development will include public space for recreation, walking and biking. The plan includes planting more than 1,000 trees.

"The site has long represented to us and to many one of the greatest urban redevelopment opportunities in this region if not in the country," said Mike Ryan of Ryan Companies.

"This is a big deal for St. Paul, but it's a big deal for Minnesota," Walz said. 

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter said it's the result of a lot of hard work by public and private entities, calling it "probably one of the biggest undertakings that the City of St. Paul has ever taken on."

More from KSTP.com:

Minneapolis Company Awarded Development of Ford Site

Ford Plant Site to be Placed on the Market

There will be 3,800 housing units, 265,000 square feet in office space and 150,000 square feet of retail space, according to Carter. The project will create 14,500 construction jobs and over 1,000 jobs will be created once completed on the site. Carter said 100% of electricity will stem from renewable, carbon-free sources.

The proposal includes an investment of $92 million with $32 million coming in private infrastructure investment and $53 million in tax increment financing.

Carter's predecessor, former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, said the effort to get to this point started more than 10 years ago in 2007.

"We've long recognized this as the best development opportunity in the history of the region," Coleman told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. "The location. The size of it. The connection to the river and to the neighborhoods."

The site will generate an estimated $27 million to finance affordable housing and the ability to fund up to $115 million for affordable housing and other qualifying capital projects over the next two decades, Carter's office said. Once fully built, it'll generate $1 billion in added property tax value to the city's current $23 billion tax base.

Shetu Rose of the "Center for Economic Inclusion" said her organization approves of the plans for affordable housing.

"It definitely brings to the city more housing, more affordable housing, more recreational spaces for families," she told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS after the announcement. "It's very inclusive."

The prime land has been pretty much empty since the Ford factory shut down eight years ago.

The factory was torn down and Ford spent years cleaning it up for redevelopment.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and KSTP.com for updates.

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