Hillcrest Golf Course Redevelopment
On Tuesday, May 28, 2019, the Saint Paul Port Authority Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the creation of an Industrial Development District on the site of the former Hillcrest Golf Course. The Steamfitters Pipefitters Local 455 acquired the 112-acre site, on Saint Paul’s East Side, in 2011 with the intent of building a training center. The organization found an alternate site and the course closed in October 2017 due to declining memberships.
Why Create an Industrial Development District (IDD)?
Creating the IDD opens the door for the Saint Paul Port Authority to be involved in some capacity, whether it be to purchase the property, manage the environmental clean-up, or serve in a capacity that has yet to be determined. The Port Authority has created numerous IDDs but they have not all led to the purchase of property.
Does the Port Authority Want to Purchase the Site?
Yes, there is interest in purchasing the site and partnering with the City of Saint Paul on a redevelopment plan. Remediating brownfields and putting land back to use is what we do best. With that being said, we are not able to purchase without the approval of our Board of Commissioners. We are currently researching finance options.
As the Project Progresses, how will the Saint Paul Port Authority Ensure the Public Will be Well Informed?
This has yet to be determined, but a Master Planning process would need to take place.
What Would be Included in the Master Plan?
It’s too soon to answer this question. But, if the Saint Paul Port Authority is involved, they would work with the City throughout the Master Planning process, engaging community groups and other stakeholders to determine the best use for the property. Initial research shows the Hillcrest site could support both housing and job creation opportunities, with green space serving as a buffer between residential and commercial parcels.
How Much will it Cost to Clean-up the Land? And How Would this be Covered?
We are still working on a proposed clean-up plan, so this is subject to change. As with all our brownfield remediation projects, we would research available resources to assist with costs, including grant funds.
Would the Property Be Tax Exempt?
If the Saint Paul Port Authority becomes the buyer of the property, it would go tax-exempt for the short-term. As the site becomes developed with homes and businesses, it would transition back to the tax rolls. In our experience, brownfield remediation leads to private investment. Preliminary research indicates that the Hillcrest site has the potential to create development in the range of $250 million. With this scenario, tax revenues would increase significantly from $500,000 to $5 million per year.