Arden Hills Development Project Hits Stumbling Blocks

August 29, 2018 06:40 PM

Discussions on developing the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant site in Arden Hills have been taking place for years.

And the city, Ramsey County and developer Alatus have agreed in principal on a plan for the 427-acre site.

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But while they are close, the city and county have not completely ironed out their differences over a project about the size of downtown St. Paul.

RELATED: Work on Rice Creek Commons Delayed by Tighter Groundwater Rules

The Rice Creek Commons Development is located at the intersection of Interstate 35 West and Highway 10 in Arden Hills.

When complete, it is expected to include a mixture of houses, apartments and retail space, create 4,000 jobs and generate about $8.6 million in property taxes a year.

"We are at a point, though, where the city has asked for too much," Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough said.

RAW: Chopper Footage of the Old Twin Cities Ammunition Plant

And McDonough said the city's demands could jeopardize the project. He cites the city's planning costs, which the county agreed would be repaid.

But he said the problem is how much Arden Hills is asking for.

"$500,000 will cover their project costs up to this point and into the future," he said. "They are asking for a $1 million."

Arden Hills Mayor David Grant, meanwhile, said his biggest concern is the time he and the City Council are being given to review a proposal for a development that could cost $700 million to be completed.

"They acknowledged three weeks were acceptable, and now they've given us one week and they've timed it over a (holiday) weekend," Grant said.

Grant said another issue the city needs addressed concerns fees.

The deadline for the county and city to reach an agreement is Tuesday.

McDonough said he's not sure what the county will do if both sides can't bridge their differences.

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Todd Wilson

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