Rice Creek Commons development moving along


courtesy of Ramsey County • A rendering of Alatus LLC’s Rice Creek Commons proposal, which is nearly complete and will need to be approved by the Joint Development Authority of Arden Hills and Ramsey County, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners and Arden Hills City Council.

Following years of cleaning up contamination left by the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant to residential standards, and years of infrastructure planning, the Rice Creek Commons development deal between Alatus LLC and the joint authority of Ramsey County and Arden Hills is nearly complete. 

The agreement will take another 60 to 90 days to finalize, said Alatus chief developer Bob Lux. If it gets final approval from the Joint Development Authority, Ramsey County Board of Commissioners and Arden Hills City Council, construction could begin in 2020. 

Alatus’ proposal for the 427-acre plot, one of the largest development projects in the state, that in the past had been floated as a possible destination for the Minnesota Vikings stadium and an Amazon headquarters, has yet to be drafted, said Louis Jambois, who leads the Ramsey County side of the development authority. Presently, Alatus’ proposal is more of an outline, he said. 

 

The mixed commercial-residential proposal under review will offer 1,460 housing units, 4,000 living-wage jobs and $8.6 million in annual property taxes, according to a press release from St. Paul public relations firm Goff Public. 

Housing includes apartments, condos, senior housing, single-family, multi-family and affordable options. Commercial space will have retail and office space, a corporate campus, hotel space and entertainment space that could house a movie theater. The project centers around a “pedestrian-focused” town center with a “lively main street” and “active green spaces,” the release said. 

Construction will take place in five phases. The first phase will build approximately 250 senior housing units and 150 single-family homes on about 70 acres, said Lux. Subsequent phases will be scheduled incrementally and with the flexibility to respond to market demand. 

The market price for single-family housing units in Rice Creek will range from about $350,000 to over $1 million Lux said, adding that affordable housing guidelines will be implemented. Development land will be sold in “corners and chunks” to Alatus, which will market the homes, said Lux. 

In a statement, the City of Arden Hills said it looks forward to reviewing the draft framework for the development.


 

— Solomon Gustavo

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