Plant's closing was a blow for St. Paul, but new development will be an asset to the city and region.
St. Paul moved one important step closer this week toward realizing the largest development opportunity in its history. City leaders announced that a deal has been struck with Ryan Co. to begin work on the vacant Ford plant site in Highland Park — a mixed-use urban village project that has been in the making for more than a decade.
It’s a groundbreaking project that appears to meet the highest 21st Century standards for city living — including significant amounts of mixed-income housing, business and jobs creation, walking and biking options, park and other open green space and energy efficient power. And it’s a project that by 2040 will increase St. Paul’s taxable value by $1 billion, and send $18 million a year in taxes to the city, schools and county tax base.
The agreement is between Ryan and the city. Mayor Melvin Carter said he expects the City Council will vote to approve the plan by the end of the year.
Using a combination of public and private money, more than $92 million will be spent on infrastructure to create a street grid and utilities on 40 new city blocks. The city’s $53 million share, from tax-increment financing, is less than what Ryan previously requested. Still, the developer likely will ask for additional public funds to help build affordable housing on the site.
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