ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Despite pushback, plans are moving forward with the revitalization of Ford's former Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul.
Thursday morning, Mayor Chris Coleman ceremoniously signed the Ford Site Zoning and Public Realm Master Plan ordinance for adoption. City council voted 5-2 in favor of the plan Wednesday night.
The approved plan sets the framework for a mixed-use urban village, rezoning the site into six districts for housing, parks, open space, retail and offices. There will be up to 4,000 housing units, including affordable housing options for low-income residents.
"I think this plan represents a win-win for us. we have a lot of people who want to live in the city and the proposed density provides places for them to live and tax base for the city that we need to support our existing infrastructure and our future," said Laurie Krivitz, before the vote Wednesday night.
Driving through the Highland Park neighborhood, you can see "Say yes to the Ford site" signs, as well as ones that read, "Stop the Ford plan."
Jim Bohn is opposed to the master plan. He lives off of Cretin Avenue S. and said he's concerned about an increase in traffic to an already busy area.
"I'm a little nervous about that but it's passed," Bohn said.
The plan is 10 years in the making after more than 140 community meetings.
"We have many things that need to happen so I hope that that engagement continues from all people, from all sides," said Chris Tolbert, St. Paul City Council member for Ward 3.
On Thursday, Mayor Coleman said, "This is not the end of the journey, this is the beginning. This lays out broad visions and broad goals for an equitable and sustainable community."
Ford is expected to put the site on the market in 2018. Meanwhile, the city will be working on specifics when it comes to design standards for construction on the property.
Construction on the 135-acre site is expected to start in either 2020 or 2021 but development will likely happen over the next 15-20 years.
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