A Tale of Two Cities

OCTOBER 10, 2018

Redevelopment plans for St. Paul’s former Ford site unveiled

When the Ryan Cos. redevelop the former Ford manufacturing land in St. Paul’s Highland Park into 3,800 units of housing, they won’t be adding a golf course. There will be no corporate campus, 10-story buildings or major surface parking lots. And a Ford Museum isn’t part of their concept plans, either.

Instead, the Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. plan to install architecture reminiscent of Highland Village, a central water corridor that will be surrounded by four pedestrian-only and bicycle-only blocks on either side, 35 single-family homes along Mississippi River Boulevard and six-story and seven-story buildings closer to Ford Parkway.

Over the next decade, residents can also expect senior and affordable housing, a street grid that puts bicycles, pedestrians and drivers on a level playing field, more than 50 acres of public open space and 1,000 trees.

“Folks all around the country will look at this area as one of the best examples of mixed-income development,” said Mike Ryan, a principal with the Ryan Cos., pointing to renderings of a future civic plaza and water-lined promenade. “This is really going to become the gem of the area.”

As for the three ballparks used by St. Paul Highland Ball, two will remain exactly where they are, a major concession to the long-standing neighborhood baseball organization. An extension of Montreal Avenue will eliminate the third ball field.

Ryan and Tony Barranco, another principal with Ryan Cos., unveiled long-awaited renderings and concept plans Wednesday night to a sizable audience at Highland Park Middle School.

Read original article here By Frederick Melo Pioneer Press: October 10, 2018


MARCH 8, 2019

St. Paul planners reject single-family homes in Ford project

In numerous meetings over the summer and fall with area residents, Barranco said, two things proved hugely popular with a community that had been divided over the city's master plan: preserving the longstanding Highland Little League fields and building at least some single-family homes on Mississippi River Boulevard.

Council Member Chris Tolbert, who represents the area, said the changes that Ryan was seeking did not seem unreasonable, including building single-family homes.

Tolbert and others have praised Ryan for listening to the community while also embracing the broader goals for the development. The single-family homes are a comparatively small part of a 3,800-unit housing mix that would include condominiums, apartment complexes and senior housing. Twenty percent of the total would be affordable housing, Ryan has said.

But Ryan officials have said the single-family homes would also act as a catalyst for the development, drawing early buyers to a site that is expected to take 20 years to build out. Barranco left little doubt that building those homes will continue to be part of Ryan's overall wish list.

"Our communication with elected officials in the council chambers won't be very different," he said.

The St. Paul Planning Commission on Friday rejected Ryan Cos.' plan to build 35 single­-family homes as part of the massive redevelopment of the former Ford plant.

The single-family homes along Mississippi River Boulevard had proved one of the most popular features of the 122-acre redevelopment, judging by reaction at the Jan. 25 public hearing. While the commission approved most of Ryan's other proposed changes to the plan, it determined the single-family homes didn't square with the city's density goals.

The final decision lies with the City Council, and a Ryan representative said Friday it plans to seek approval for the single-family homes there.

Read original article here By James Walsh Star Tribune MARCH 8, 2019


MARCH 27, 2019

Single-family houses are back in the mix for St. Paul's Ford site