After years of inactivity, work on Rice Creek Commons since Ramsey County purchased the property in April 2013 has dramatically improved the 427-acre site.
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 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency issued a Certificate of Completion for the soil remediation efforts.
The 427-acre site was cleaned to residential standards (view soil remediation criteria), 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.
The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to officially delist soil at the site from its Superfund list in 2017. The U.S. Army will continue to operate the existing groundwater cleanup system for many years to come.
In May, the Joint Development Authority selected Alatus, LLC as the master developer for Rice Creek Commons. Alatus is teaming with Inland Development Partners on commercial development and Tradition Development Corporation on single-family residential development. Alatus will help guide the overall residential and commercial development of the Rice Creek Commons site, an area large enough to fit all of downtown Saint Paul with room to spare. When it is redeveloped, it will be home and workplace to thousands of families.
Rice Creek remeander project
Crews completed work in July on an eight-month project to transform Rice Creek 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.
Originally flowing along a winding path that included many twists and turns, the creek was straightened in the early 1900s for agricultural purposes. The straightened route resulted in faster-flowing water, which increased erosion along the stream bank and bed. Because the land is no longer used for farming, the creek did not need to remain straightened.
The creek will serve as an amenity for Rice Creek Commons and enable the construction of a roundabout intersection at County Road H and I-35W, providing a gateway entrance to Rice Creek Commons.