By the time it closed in December, 2011, Ford’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota was the longest-operating Ford plant in the world, having been open since 1925. Production started way back then with the Ford Model T, and concluded with the mid-size Ranger pickup.
Today, the site where the plant once stood is “a serious traffic bottleneck at the intersection of Cleveland Avenue and Ford Parkway in the Highland Park neighborhood,” according to the Star Tribune.
But plans for the redevelopment of the 122-acre plot are now rolling, and St. Paul hosted a meeting with hundreds of residents and planning officials to discuss the city’s preliminary plans for opening up the “bottleneck” so that traffic in Highland Park can move more freely. The Star Tribune says that the site’s redevelopment – which will include multifamily housing, a park, and a commercial district – would connect streets that currently dead-end at Ford Parkway, allowing flow through (rather than just around) the land where Ford’s Twin Cities Plant once stood.
The former Ford plant site is currently being cleaned, and isn’t expected to sell to a developer until 2019. Before then, a formal master plan will be presented to the St. Paul Planning Commission and City Council for official adoption next year. The timeline gives the city of St. Paul plenty of time to conduct another transportation study before construction starts.