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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Land sales underway at former Hillcrest site in St. Paul now known as ‘The Heights’

Land sales are currently taking place at the Heights, the expansive St. Paul land that originally housed the Hillcrest golf course, for both residential and light industrial development.

The 112-acre property was purchased by the St. Paul Port Authority three years ago, and on September 29 it was declared to be zoned and formally for sale. The Port Authority anticipates choosing a master housing developer and users of light industries to construct on separate sites measuring between two and twenty acres.

A prospective employer interested in a 29-acre location near Hillcrest has already started negotiations. According to a recent press release from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the initiative may attract $28.9 million in private investment.

The 29-acre site will be turned into a 30,000 square foot training facility, a 55,800 square foot office, and a 100,000 square foot shop and fleet warehouse after receiving a $701,000 grant from the agency, known as DEED, for demolition and public infrastructure upgrades. According to DEED, the initiative is anticipated to keep 400 employment in St. Paul. The Port Authority will pay the matching monies.

According to Andrea Novak, a spokesman for the Port Authority, “there are conversations in place with a possible user, which we can’t divulge because we’re still in negotiations, but if it comes into play, those will be the outcomes.”

The St. Paul City Council adopted the Hillcrest Master Plan in June, and developers will be expected to operate within its constraints. The master housing developer will be chosen from among them based on his or her capacity to offer market-rate, reasonably priced, and deeply discounted housing to the location, including both owner-occupied and rental housing, big family housing, senior living, and more. Both a diversified development team and environmental sustainability are important to the city.

Building dimensions and job density standards must be met by industry. Other requirements include paying living wages, making an attempt to hire locals, and taking part in a mural program for curated artwork run by the St. Paul Port Authority. A 10-year community benefits agreement must be signed by qualified buyers in order to be eligible for subsidies.

Cedric Blackwater
Cedric Blackwater
Cedric is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting on local US news, and touching on many global topics. He is currently the lead writer for Bulletin News.

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