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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 […]

Affordable Housing in Minneapolis and Beyond

The current debates over the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan and inclusionary housing raise some interesting ideas for consideration about the city and Twin Cities metro area overall. First, more housing at all levels of affordability is critical to the future of the city, not for the sake of density itself but rather the city’s ability […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Chart of the Day: US Cities by Techie-ness versus Affordability

Here’s a fun chart from Bloomberg and data viz whiz Dorothy Gambrell. It shows US cities plotted along two axes. On the Y-axis, you have what they call “the good stuff,” a metric that combines education, tech investment, biking / transit, and other economic measures that match the Silicon Valley / Bay area. On the […]

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 […]

Adventures in Suburbia: Building Affordable Housing in Blaine

On a 6-1 vote on August 3, the Blaine (MN) City Council approved an actual high-density housing development. I have previously questioned Blaine’s priorities for development, including years of bizarre hand-wringing over putting high-density housing in other locations, like in The Lakes development. However, Blaine has decided that it is time to approve some density. […]