Old Hillcrest Golf Club could become largest redevelopment project on St. Paul's east side in decades

June 16, 2019 10:31 PM

The possible sale of the old Hillcrest Golf Club site could make it St. Paul's largest east side redevelopment project in decades.

The St. Paul Port Authority wants the St. Paul City Council to approve a $10-million bond sale to facilitate redevelopment of the 112-acre Hillcrest Golf Club which has been shut down since 2017.

Chuck Remke, with the North-East Neighborhood Development Corporation, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the proposed plan is exciting because it could bring in an additional 1,000 housing units and 1,000 new jobs in the northeast corner of the East side.

"We have 30-thousand people who live here and less than two-thousand jobs that are in the neighborhood," said Remke. "Everybody has to commute somewhere else to work and it would be huge to have some jobs that are available in the area."

Remke said the next step is talking with people in the neighborhood to find out what they would like to see in the proposed multi-housing, light industrial proposal the St. Paul Port Authority is currently considering.

"It's almost the same size as the Ford Plant site redevelopment in Highland Park," said Remke.  "But, the biggest difference is the chance for potential job creation which will be a wonderful thing for people in the area."

RELATED: St. Paul Port Authority shows preliminary interest in Hillcrest Golf course

Elisa Lipari lives with her husband and two children just across Larpenteur Avenue and she told KSTP her neighborhood is eager to see Hillcrest transformed into something great, but said they're cautious about what it means for the neighborhood as well.

"I think initially we are just worried about how much congestion is going to be around the area," said Lipari.  "We definitely do not want to see it get overcrowded."

Lipari said the neighborhood surrounding Hillcrest will want to have input on what takes shape and safety will be a high priority because the area has a lot of young children.

"Hopefully, if this comes, they would put in some sidewalks and parks, for example," said Lipari.  "Sidewalks and parks would make it more family-friendly and right now we have to be really, really careful about where we take the kids because of traffic on Larpenteur."

The St. Paul City Council will have initial discussion and take its first action on this issue when it meets Wednesday, June 19.

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Jay Kolls

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