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Ryan Cos. Breaks Ground on Massive Mixed-Use Redevelopment of Former Ford Plant in St. Paul

Highland Bridge will include a variety of housing options as well as office, retail, civic and public space.

ST. PAUL, MINN. — Ryan Cos. has broken ground on the redevelopment of a 122-acre former Ford plant in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood. Named Highland Bridge, the project has a focus on residential, featuring seniors housing, market-rate multifamily housing and 760 units of affordable housing, as well as for-sale row homes.

In addition to the project’s 3,800 housing units, Highland Bridge is slated to include 150,000 square feet of retail space, 265,000 square feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of civic or institutional spaces. More than 55 acres of public space will include four new parks, biking and walking paths and two little league fields.

Ryan Cos. completed the purchase of the former Ford plant in December 2019. Ford began production of the Model T at the site in 1925, but the plant closed in 2011. Total project costs for the redevelopment were not disclosed.

An estimated 14,500 construction jobs will be created for the project. Once complete, an estimated 1,000 employees will be employed at the site.

“We’ve paid particular attention to what makes Highland Park special, and our goal is to uphold those unique qualities, to expand upon them, and to create a place where people thrive for generations,” says Mike Ryan, president of north region for Ryan Cos.

Pulte Group has joined the project team as the developer of the for-sale row homes. Pulte plans to deliver approximately 320 homes that will range from 1,900 to 3,000 square feet. Prices will start in the upper $300,000s. Construction is expected to commence this winter with the first homes available in winter 2021.

Presbyterian Homes & Services will own and operate the project’s senior living component. The community will offer independent living, assisted living and memory care apartments with an array of service offerings and amenities. Twin Cities-based Presbyterian Homes is a nonprofit operator and developer.

Weidner Apartment Homes was selected as the primary developer for the market-rate housing at Highland Bridge. Project for Pride in Living, CommonBond Communities and Habitat for Humanity will develop the majority of the affordable housing component.

Of the affordable housing units, 380 will be reserved for those earning up to 30 percent of the area median income (AMI), 190 will be reserved for those earning up to 50 percent of the AMI and 190 will be reserved for those making up to 60 percent of the AMI. Rents will range from $675 to $1,350 per month.

Xcel Energy has partnered with Ryan Cos. with the goal of providing 100 percent renewable energy at the project. Xcel proposed a program whereby residents and businesses have the opportunity to subscribe to receive locally generated solar and hydroelectric energy to power their homes and buildings.

“[Our] goal to reduce carbon emissions 80 percent by 2030,” says Chris Clark, president of Xcel Energy-Minnesota.

— By Kristin Hiller and Alex Tostado

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