ford site rendering

On Oct. 10, 2018, The Ryan Companies unveiled renderings and a general concept plan for the former Ford Twin Cities auto plant in Highland Park, which will be converted into 3,500 housing units and 150,000 square feet of retail space. In all, the development will span some 40 city blocks. Ryan will preserve two of the neighborhood’s three existing ball fields on the site, with Montreal Avenue extended through the third ballpark. A new neighborhood park, civic square and central water feature will be installed on site, as well, surrounded by pedestrian-only and bike-only streets. Ryan hopes to install single-family homes along Mississippi River Boulevard, although the Ford company had initially objected to single-family development. “On Mississippi River Boulevard, we’re hoping to achieve homes that look and feel like what is already out there, and above,” said developer Mike Ryan. Elsewhere on the site, housing will become more dense traveling eastward, toward five- and six-story apartment buildings, followed by retail buildings along Ford Boulevard that exist as an extension of Highland Village. The northwest and southeast corners of the site will include senior living and office locations. ( Courtesy of the The Ryan Companies)

Ford Site Central Water Feature

On Oct. 10, 2018, The Ryan Companies unveiled renderings and a general concept plan for the former Ford Twin Cities auto plant in Highland Park, which will be converted into 3,500 housing units and 150,000 square feet of retail space. In all, the development will span some 40 city blocks. Ryan will preserve two of the neighborhood’s three existing ball fields on the site, with Montreal Avenue extended through the third ballpark. A new neighborhood park, civic square and central water feature will be installed on site, as well, surrounded by pedestrian-only and bike-only streets. Ryan hopes to install single-family homes along Mississippi River Boulevard, although the Ford company had initially objected to single-family development. “On Mississippi River Boulevard, we’re hoping to achieve homes that look and feel like what is already out there, and above,” said developer Mike Ryan. Elsewhere on the site, housing will become more dense traveling eastward, toward five- and six-story apartment buildings, followed by retail buildings along Ford Boulevard that exist as an extension of Highland Village. The northwest and southeast corners of the site will include senior living and office locations. ( Courtesy of the The Ryan Companies)

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The Planned Failure of the Ford Site

On January 25, 2019, Ryan Companies presented its plan for the Ford Site redevelopment to the St. Paul Planning Commission. One third of the way through the presentation, Ryan officials finished talking about themselves and turned to the city’s (supposed) vision for the Ford Site, That vision includes environmental sustainability, vibrant urban infill and a transit-oriented […]

Map Monday: A Chain Retail View of Saint Paul’s Ford Site

Here’s a map that comes from the real estate marketing packet for Saint Paul’s famous Ford Site, the 100+ acre former truck factory in Highland. It shows the “retail” near the site, using logos and arrows. For one thing, this map shows how many Paneras and Targets are nearby. But on top of that, the […]

Neighbors Embrace New Oil Refinery for Ford Site

St. Paul, Minnesota — residents of the Highland Park neighborhood have been struggling for months against an outrageous proposal to redevelop the Ford Site with business, homes, and public green space. Today, Neighbors for a Livable St. Paul announced the results of their successful campaign to preserve neighborhood character. Instead of unsightly urban apartment homes, the industrial legacy […]

We Read Ford Site Comments So You Don’t Have To

When controversy happens….when tempers flare….we read the comments, so you don’t have to. Perhaps you have heard of the Ford Site, in St. Paul? It is no longer being used to make trucks. It is one of the largest, best pieces of land to be developed in the city core right now on either side of […]

The Ford Site Debate is Also About Equity

About two weeks ago, the Planning Commission finally passed Saint Paul’s plans for the old Ford factory in Highland. The vote was unanimous to support to support the city’s plans, which called for around 4,000 units of housing and plenty of mixed-use, along with a host of other amenities. (Note: there was also an amendment […]

Five Reasons to Love Saint Paul’s Ford Site Plans

When you teach urban geography, you inevitably come across the concept of “post-Fordism.” The term refers to the shifting economic and geographic arrangements that followed in the wake of globalization, automation, and technological revolutions. The concept is best illustrated by the  transformation of the auto industry in places like Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and elsewhere in […]

Highland Character Quest

Recently, I purchased a home about a half a mile north of this industrial waste site. I was okay with this, since prior to finalizing the contract I had read some very intriguing things about the city’s plans for the site, known in conversation as “The Ford Site.” But after living in my new community a while, […]

Part II: We Read Ford Site Hearing Comments So You Don’t Have To

When controversy happens….when tempers flare….we read the comments, so you don’t have to. Previously, we read the comments from articles published around the time of last week’s first hearing. The second hearing was on Wednesday night, and there were speeches and votes and thus articles and comments. So here we are, once again: Reading the comments. […]