The Board of Ramsey County Commissioners Tuesday voted 5-2 to approve for the the county to buy the 430-acre TCAAP site in Arden Hills from the federal government. Now, the real fun begins.
Once the transaction is complete, Ramsey County and Arden Hills officials will work together on a plan to redevelop the property, which local officials pitched, without success, as a potential site for the Minnesota Vikings stadium before that project ended up in downtown Minneapolis.
The county’s budget for the acquisition is $30 million, including $21.4 million in bonding, $6 million that will be transferred from the county’s Solid Waste Fund, and $2 million from its 2012 contingent account. You can see a PDF download of Ramsey County’s meeting agenda here.
The development of TCAAP, once known as the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant, will include a mixture of residential, light commercial, industrial and other uses, Ramsey County commissioner Tony Bennett told Minnesota Public Radio.
This is the most tangible step forward I’ve seen in the past decade for what’s considered the largest development site in the metro area.
In addition to the Vikings and Ramsey County’s stadium push last year, several development companies have invested a lot of money planning and preparing concepts and projects for this land.
In 2002, a handful of developers pitching projects on the site, including Opus Northwest, Centex Multifamily, Mills Corp., and Rottlund Homes.
In 2007, Ryan Cos. US Inc. and Glenn Rehbein Cos. worked on a deal to buy and redevelop part of the site for a wide mixture of uses such as office, hotel, retail, industrial and housing. According to a Star Tribune report published during the jockeying for the Vikings, Ryan went so far as to spend millions on an environmental assessment before dropping the idea in 2009, citing the dismal housing market and the cost of cleaning up the site.
Also in 2009, a Wayzata-based company pitched a motorsports speedway that would attract NASCAR to Minnesota.