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.
Infrastructure construction to begin in 2017
The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners today approved changes to the master plan for the Rice Creek Commons development in Arden Hills, located at the site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP). The board’s vote is a key milestone that keeps the 427-acre site on track to grow into a major economic engine for the entire Twin Cities metropolitan region. The Arden Hills City Council approved the amended master plan on December 12.
“When fully developed, Rice Creek Commons will be abuzz with families, businesses, jobs, and fun outdoor activities – all while generating new property tax revenue,” said Ramsey County Board Chair Victoria Reinhardt. “I am extremely proud of everyone who has played a role in a project of such high magnitude. Today is a day for celebration for our county and our region.”
Rice Creek Commons, which encompasses an area large enough to fit all downtown Saint Paul with room to spare, will include a cohesive mix of residential and commercial neighborhoods surrounding a vibrant, pedestrian-focused town center. Over the last several months, the Alatus LLC master developer team, which includes Inland Development Partners and Tradition Development Corporation, identified amendments to the site’s master plan. These amendments further reach the common goals of creating jobs, establishing a walkable live-work-play community, and developing an attractive, amenity-rich, mixed-use environment that appeals to current and new residents, businesses, and the greater community. Key land use plan adjustments include:
- Revising the physical configuration of and allowable uses within zoning districts.
- Increasing the number of residential units from 1,431 to 1,460 to further activate the site and to support a diverse mix of residential, retail and office space.
- Increasing the maximum commercial building height from 65 feet to 210 feet, or 15 stories, to provide flexibility to respond to market demands and maximize the site’s potential for job creation.
- Increasing the maximum height for selected buildings in the Town Center to 10 stories to create visually distinct, high-quality, and amenity-rich communities.
- Limiting the amount of retail in the office-mixed use district to ensure variety in product and land use across the site.
- Creating a commercial district within Town Center in which 50% of ground floor will be activated through retail and entertainment uses to further activate the public streetscape.
- Adjusting minimum size requirements for multi-family units to allow the flexibility to react to changing market demands and maximize the appeal to a broad audience.
Rice Creek Commons is a thoughtfully designed community that will include a variety of housing types and neighborhoods, which weave seamlessly into a network of trails, green corridors, and pedestrian-friendly streets. A 50-acre natural resources corridor winds through the interior of the site, providing a natural amenity, and 24 acres of active park space are planned within the site. Combined, these features will create a visually distinct and dynamic place that is rich in texture and embraces the natural environment to appeal to people of all ages and walks of life.
“This is an incredibly important milestone for a project that will help Arden Hills shape its future in a way that moves our entire community and the region forward,” said Arden Hills Mayor David Grant. “We are now able to move forward together with a community vision to bring this important yet complex site back to life. There is much more work to be done, but we are extremely thankful for the time, resources, and energy that has been invested to make today possible.”
With approval of a final master plan granted by both Ramsey County and the City of Arden Hills, an amendment to Arden Hills’ comprehensive plan will be forwarded to the Metropolitan Council for review and ratification. Construction of a vibrant mixed-use residential, retail and business district is expected to begin in 2017. The first phase will focus on construction of the site’s infrastructure, including roads, sewers, and water lines.
“We thank Ramsey County Board of Commissioners and the Arden Hills City Council, City staff and Arden Hills residents for their vision and commitment to this project,” said Bob Lux of Alatus LLC. “We look forward to their ongoing support as the site develops into a thriving, sustainable community in which everyone can take pride.”
With cleanup complete, officials look to future
Community members gathered to celebrate Wednesday as elected officials announced that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has officially issued a Certificate of Completion for cleanup efforts on Rice Creek Commons, the site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant. The 427-acre site – the largest contaminated site in Minnesota – went through the MPCA’s Brownfield Program.
500 new feet of stream created in Rice Creek Commons redevelopment
Ramsey County announced today that a new section of Rice Creek has been completed following an eight-month project to transform the waterway back to its original meandering path. As a part of the project, 500 new feet of stream were created in a section of creek that runs through Rice Creek Commons.
The Joint Development Authority voted 5-0 tonight to select Alatus LLC as the master developer for Rice Creek Commons, the 427-acre site of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant. The Joint Development Authority, which consists of elected officials from Ramsey County and the City of Arden Hills, oversees the redevelopment of Rice Creek Commons.
The Joint Development Authority announced today it is seeking a master developer for Rice Creek Commons, a 427-acre prime redevelopment opportunity in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. The Joint Development Authority, which consists of elected officials from Ramsey County and the City of Arden Hills, oversees the redevelopment of Rice Creek Commons.
Work to clean and clear the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) in Arden Hills – formerly the largest contaminated site in Minnesota – has been completed. The 427-acre site was cleaned to residential standards, and 93% of the materials removed from the site were recycled or reused in new roadways there and in other parts of the Twin Cities. This paves the way for the Rice Creek Commons development.