Ramsey County, Arden Hills seek master developer for former TCAAP site

This rendering teases an idea of what the former TCAAP site might look like once redevelopment is complete. (submitted graphic)
This rendering teases an idea of what the former TCAAP site might look like once redevelopment is complete. (submitted graphic)

In the form of the Joint Development Authority, elected officials from Ramsey County and the City of Arden Hills sent out a long-awaited request for proposals Feb. 1 in search of a master developer for the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant. 

The selected developer will help pilot the overall development of residential and commercial projects on the TCAAP site, an area larger than St. Paul’s downtown.

In a statement, the JDA said it’s looking for a team prepared to develop a smattering of housing and commercial and retail projects on TCAAP’s 427-acre site, which is being called Rice Creek Commons.

There is no asking price included in the RFP, nor are there specifics on the timing of the project’s completion, though site development could begin as soon as 2017. 

Instead, developers themselves have been asked to formulate plans and cost estimates. After reviewing these, the JDA will make its selection.

Already, the county has invested $30 million into the project to date. Most of those funds have funneled into the demolition and remediation of the site’s structures and its contaminated soil. Now that the site is clean, Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman, who helped negotiate the RFP, said in November that the land is prepared for residential use. 

Responses are due back to the JDA March 9.

Background

At its height, the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant employed 26,000 people and supported the war effort from when it opened in 1941 through the end of World War II in 1945, manufacturing small arms ammunition.

The site was operating again during the Korean and Vietnam wars, and then shut down completely in 2005 and was purchased by Ramsey County in 2012 for $28 million.

Pollution issues related to the site included contaminated groundwater as well as on-site soil contamination due to disposal of industrial waste.

Jesse Poole can be reached at jpoole@lillienews.com or at 651-748-7815. Follow him at twitter.com/JPooleNews.

 

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