Ramsey County proposes Rice Creek Commons and Riverfront Properties as sites for Amazon expansion

22 September 2017

Ramsey County has submitted a proposal to GREATER MSP and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) offering Rice Creek Commons in Arden Hills and the Riverfront Properties site in downtown Saint Paul as potential locations for Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters. Both sites are publicly owned, shovel-ready and offer access to vibrant communities, existing infrastructure, a diversity of housing, well-educated workforce and stable business environment with a deeply established retail sector.

“Both Rice Creek Commons and Riverfront Properties have served as dynamic regional economic engines and both are now ripe for revitalized development. The significant investments that Ramsey County has already made in these sites to prepare them for future use make us ideally positioned to bring thousands of jobs to the Twin Cities,” said Ramsey County Board of Commissioners Chair Victoria Reinhardt. “We are eager to work with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and GREATER MSP to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Minnesota.”

Following is a summary of benefits that each location offers.

Rice Creek Commons (Arden Hills, Minnesota)

  • 427 acres in a thriving suburban community that is home to nearly 10,000 residents and large and small businesses.
  • $30 million invested in the demolition and remediation of the site to residential standards.
  • Can easily and immediately accommodate Amazon’s desired acreage and building square footage needs.
  • Directly visible on I-35W and located 10 freeway miles from the downtowns of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
  • Easily accessible due to nearly $200 million in current and planned investments to nearby highway interchanges and $19 million committed to building a new boulevard through the site.
  • Envisioned mixed-use development maximizes the potential of the site to ensure that Amazon is able to recruit and retain a quality employment base.
  • Environmentally responsible development, including solar and net-zero energy residential neighborhoods, is a top priority for the site.

Riverfront Properties (Saint Paul, Minnesota)

  • Iconic and highly-visible downtown Saint Paul eight-acre site located along the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River consisting of two parcels:
    • The shovel-ready site of the former West buildings and Ramsey County Jail with capacity for hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space and an integral parking structure.
    • The existing Ramsey County East Building, a nearly 400,000-square-foot office building accessible above and below the bluff and connected to the West site on ground level.
  • $17 million invested to deconstruct the West buildings and jail and to build a concrete retaining wall along the bluff.
  • Highly accessible via METRO Green Line light rail, bus transit, automobile, foot or bicycle.
  • Downtown Saint Paul has seen a 3.3 percent growth in private sector jobs and double-digit residential growth since 2013 buoyed by significant public and private investment.
  • Clean energy infrastructure in downtown Saint Paul provided by adjacent District Energy.
  • Positioned on the planned River Balcony, an elevated pedestrian walkway overlooking the Mississippi River between the Science Museum of Minnesota and Union Depot, providing scenic connections to restaurants, offices, shops, green space and other activity centers.
  • Located blocks away from available complementary downtown Saint Paul development sites.

Ramsey County’s submissions to GREATER MSP and DEED are posted at ricecreekcommons.com and ramseyriverfrontproperties.com respectively.