Apr 25, 2023 - News

Arden Hills project finally progresses after years of impasse

A map showing the Rice Creek Commons site

Ramsey County and Arden Hills officials are seeking a developer for the red piece of land on this map. Image courtesy of Joint Development Authority

A long anticipated redevelopment in Arden Hills is taking some steps forward as new city leaders are signaling they're ready for progress on the massive piece of north metro land.

Driving the news: On Monday, a joint development authority overseeing the project put out a call for developers who would be interested in buying 40 acres and building office, light industrial, medical, or other commercial uses.

Catch up fast: Ramsey County bought the former ammunition plant site 10 years ago and spent millions cleaning it for future development. But bitter disagreements between the county and Arden Hills over housing density halted the project for years.

  • In November, three council members won elections on platforms promising to "advance Arden Hills" and move forward with the development, called Rice Creek Commons.
  • The county has wanted 2,500 units of housing on the site. Arden Hills officials wanted closer to 1,500, but that was before the election shuffled control of the council.

What they're saying: "The people who now control the city council are committed to working cooperatively with Ramsey County," said new Council Member Tom Fabel during a press conference Monday.

Of note: The 40 acres represent less than 10% of the Rice Creek Commons site along Interstate 35W.

  • Minneapolis-based Alatus remains the master developer for the rest of the site, said Kari Collins, Ramsey County community & economic development director.

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