Ford Plant Redevelopment [archive - locked]

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mulad
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Ford Plant Redevelopment [archive - locked]

Postby mulad » July 8th, 2012, 9:33 pm

The Strib has an article talking about an idea to save a training center at the Ford plant in Saint Paul. Anyone know which building it is? (I'm assuming it's the shiny new bit that looks like offices which you can see from Ford Parkway...) The building went up in 1999, making it very modern compared to what else is on the site. However, it sounds like it'll be demolished unless Ford gets an offer by November. Unfortunately, it's hooked into the same utilities systems as other parts of the plant, and it'll cost about $700,000 to fix that.

The training center was apparently built on state land or something, and Ford will pay a $1.9 million penalty for terminating their 25-year lease early.

http://www.startribune.com/business/161636065.html

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby seanrichardryan » October 31st, 2012, 8:40 am

Q. What, what? A. In da butt.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby Nathan » October 31st, 2012, 1:17 pm

Looks like they have a lot of good looking 'scenarios' I REALLY hope it goes more residential just based on the vicinity to the river, would really make for a nice neighborhood with natural amenities. I think office/light industrial takes that kind of site for granted?

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby min-chi-cbus » November 2nd, 2012, 7:33 am

fotoapparatic wrote:Looks like they have a lot of good looking 'scenarios' I REALLY hope it goes more residential just based on the vicinity to the river, would really make for a nice neighborhood with natural amenities. I think office/light industrial takes that kind of site for granted?
And I'd like to see something akin to Stapleton in Denver, CO -- a massive redevelopment of an unused space (in their case, an airport) into a new city neighborhood with moderate-high density. Between this site and the Fort Snelling site just across the river, this small area of the two cities could potentially be redeveloped into two distinct new city neighborhoods. Imagine being able to scrap what was built in Minneapolis in the 40's and 50's on the periphery and start with a blank canvas and redevelop the city more appropriately for its land values! It's basically my dream job!!!

Here's the direct link to the Master Plan that seanrichardryan noted above:
http://www.stpaul.gov/DocumentCenter/View/60843

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby mattaudio » November 2nd, 2012, 9:25 am

This is the perfect site to a) not have zoning (or at least use form-based zoning) b) not have parking minimums c) make sure streets are sustainable (Strong Towns principles).

I just think of the status quo, where industrial sites turned into the Quarry or Midway strip malls, and I think "THIS happened with site plans and zoning" -- when will we learn from it and allow organic development that naturally follows from a place that has value?

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby aguaman » November 6th, 2012, 9:37 am

i think st paul got rid of parking minimums citywide a few years ago...

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby twincitizen » November 6th, 2012, 11:42 am

aguaman wrote:i think st paul got rid of parking minimums citywide a few years ago...
They definitely didn't, otherwise there would be a Cupcake on Grand right now.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby MNdible » November 6th, 2012, 1:14 pm

mattaudio wrote:I just think of the status quo, where industrial sites turned into the Quarry or Midway strip malls, and I think "THIS happened with site plans and zoning" -- when will we learn from it and allow organic development that naturally follows from a place that has value?
I think the projects you reference aren't particularly relevant anymore -- they don't seem that long ago, but they're almost 15 years old, and a lot of things have changed since then.

It reminds me of the Trader Joe's on Lyndale debate, and people were referencing the Wedge Co-op as though it was built only yesterday and was state of the art urban design. I just don't think that this type of development represents the status quo anymore -- at least not in the core cities.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby mattaudio » December 26th, 2012, 10:18 am

Were there ever discussions about larger institutional land uses on this site? Maybe something like an academic or medical campus? I'm always reluctant in a sense to see these large-scale uses since they're very economically fragile. I hope this redevelopment moves forward using the traditional development model, but at the same time I'm just curious if other uses were studied that could leverage the sheer size of the site.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby LRV Op Dude » June 10th, 2013, 2:57 am

Blog: Old-Twin Cities Transit New-Twin Cities Transit

You Tube: Old, New

AKA: Bus Driver Dude

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby mulad » June 10th, 2013, 7:29 am

The Strib has a live stream of this, for some reason:

http://www.startribune.com/video/175907 ... eo/1/sfcsi

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby cowboyjones » June 20th, 2013, 4:23 pm

It seems to me that with the Metro-Direct A Line having stops along Ford Parkway at Finn and maybe Woodlawn, the entire northern edge ought to be a "main street" style development, with shops on the bottom level(s) and some residential above it (maybe like rowhouse type condos or apartments) and *some* parking behind it. And of course with each store and the levels above it having a different façade. Of course this isn't planned, just my ideal of what should happen.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby mattaudio » June 21st, 2013, 7:52 am

Agreed, I think Ford Pkwy could see a lot of infill (although it easily could have while the Ford plant was in operation too)... a nice hill of a main street with a terminating vista at the western end. But of course Sooch wants a Saints tailgate lot.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby twincitizen » June 21st, 2013, 8:56 am

If they don't implement a fairly standard street grid on the site, I'm going to be all sorts of angry.

There's going to be a push to land some large employer or some light industrial or something, but I really don't see the point. We already have two downtowns with a bunch of developable land and tons of light industrial sites nearby in St. Paul and Minneapolis, not to mention nearby Eagan and Mendota Heights commercial/industrial zones under the flightpaths. There's more than enough big box up Snelling at Midway, made even more accessible via the Metro Direct A-line (nee Snelling BRT).

Pretty please just make it a mixed-density, mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood. Strengthen and extend the existing commercial activity along Ford Pkwy. Step one to doing that is implementing a street grid with the same block sizes surrounding the site today. Even just eyeballing it, you could fit a minimum of 15 standard St. Paul blocks on the site. I'd love to see a mix of apartments, townhomes, and single-family homes of various sizes throughout the site, just like our established neighborhoods, rather than packing all the apartments in one corner like the suburbs do.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby kirby96 » June 21st, 2013, 1:13 pm

^I couldn't agree more. Someone once told me the key to success is to do more of what is working and less of what is not. It's pretty clear what works in Highland Park, and it looks A LOT like your concept.

That said, mark my words, we are going to see a lot of 'bright ideas' proposed. We'll hear about blank canvasses and bold visions, etc., etc., etc.. Let's hope the rational wins out over the bright and shiny.

What is the status of the plans that were prepared several years ago? Worthless now? Back to the drawing board? Some of those were fairly rational...

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby mamundsen » June 29th, 2013, 10:10 pm

This site came up while I was out with my parent in laws and their neighbors today. They have lived in Highland their entire lives....

Two rumors they had heard that I haven't seen.

1. Extend Cretin south and connect to alleviate traffic. This to me sounds like a better street grid.

2. The Ford little league fields on Cleveland will be removed. Not sure if this has to do with number 1.

I'll see if I can dig up more or find out if they have sources.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby mattaudio » June 29th, 2013, 10:21 pm

My guess is a "collector" extending Montreal and curving north to turn into Cretin, which would allow some traffic to bypass the congested Cleveland/Ford Pkwy intersection between Mpls and West 7th. Not sure it's necessary though beyond normal repair of the grid.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby RailBaronYarr » July 1st, 2013, 10:37 am

Similar article to the one above: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2013/06/1 ... lant-demo/ but this quote got me a little hot and bothered...
Ford hasn’t sold the plant yet, but the city does plan to work with Ford Motor Company to ensure the right developer gets the property
Why are we assuming that one single developer would be in charge of redevelopment. I agree that it seems like the city/neighborhood will end up hinging everything one one or 2 major employers for something, with dedicated land set aside for 'green manufacturing' or something. Why?? Why not just set a plan for whatever street grid (or maybe something a little less... structured?), where parks will be, which streets (if any) will be major through-streets, and start selling off parcels to highest bidders? Make it clear that the city will start building streets from the commercial strips of Ford and Cleveland inward. Create a form-based code for this area and let them go wild.

I am reminded of a blog post by a StrongTowns.net user: http://www.andrewalexanderprice.com/blog20130330.php This site, while different in layout, is almost the exact same size. I know many (not just here, but everywhere) would completely scoff at the idea of a bunch of streets that are 15'-30' (maximum) from ROW to ROW, but think of how much could be developed in that space (I personally think a few more parks and plazas could be thrown in than the blog post does, just my opinion)? Not just residential but commercial and even office space (maybe even a parcel along an arterial for that vaunted 'green manufacturing'). Think of the tax base:outlay ratio! Think of the node it would create from a transit perspective! St Paul has the opportunity to go completely bold with this and prove that you don't need excessively wide streets for emergency vehicles, subsidized car storage, etc etc. It's obviously probably too late, but what an opportunity.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby mattaudio » July 1st, 2013, 12:35 pm

Agreed. Selling this much land to a single developer seems like a horrible idea.

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Re: Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant site

Postby FISHMANPET » July 1st, 2013, 12:39 pm

Stuff like the ford plant makes me feel like being an urbanist is hopeless. A golden opportunity is handed to the city on a silver platter and nobody in charge thought "let's just plat this out and let people build a neighborhood."


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