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After many public meetings and discussions with concerned neighbors, Ryan Cos has introduced its plan to transform the 122 acre, former Ford plant site into a mixed-use development, as reported by the Star Tribune and Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. Here’s a brief breakdown: 

  • 3,800 housing units (it was zoned up to 4,000) 

    • Mixture of single-family homes (35), market rate apartments (2,250), condos (85), row houses (280), and senior living (400) 

    • An additional 750 units (roughly 20% of total housing units) will be designated affordable housing, and the units will be spread throughout the entire development 

    • Max building height of 6 stories (it was zoned for up to 10 stories)  

  • 265,000 sq ft office space 

  • 150,000 sq ft retail 

  • 50 acres of public use space 

    • This includes little league ballfields that are on the east side of the current site 

    • This also includes a river-like feature bisecting the site from north to south that helps with stormwater management. It is surrounded by greenery and walking and bike paths. 

  • At least 1,000 trees 

The plan (as depicted in a video shown at the meeting, and included in the Strib link above) was met with surprising applause. The reaction is surprising only based off of the adamant pushback received to the zoning changes and the government leaders’ support for more density. However, based on the numbers above, Ryan Cos clearly incorporated the public’s concern into their vision, scaling back the building heights and providing a nice mixture of housing types. The buildings in the video also aesthetically blend in with the historic Highland Park look (read: brick).  

There are still many logistical boxes to check before this plan moves forward. Assuming all moves smoothly, the newest residents could move in as soon as 2021, with further development to continue for several years past that. So, don’t get too excited to take a stroll around that man-made river/stream; you’re going to have to watch the dirt be torn-up first! 

Photo By Gabriel Vanslette, CC BY 3.0,