Rice Creek Commons will be a cohesive mix of residential and commercial neighborhoods surrounding a town center, a unique community where young and old can live, work and play.

In 2013, Ramsey County purchased a 427-acre parcel of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant from the U.S. Government with the intent to clean up, redevelop, and return the property to the economic engine it once was – this time with homes, businesses and retail. The site was renamed to Rice Creek Commons in 2014.

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The Rice Creek Commons master plan lays out a vision for the site to create economic prosperity, build an inclusive economy, have a long-term sustainable development and develop an energy-forward community by providing much-needed housing at a variety of income limits – including affordable housing – and creating well-paying jobs.

Current status

Work to clean and clear the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant – formerly the largest contaminated site in Minnesota – has been completed. The site was cleaned to residential standards, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency have removed the site’s soil and surface water from the state and federal Superfund lists. The U.S. Army will continue to operate the existing groundwater cleanup system for many years to come.

With 427 acres cleaned, revitalized, and brought back to the tax rolls, Rice Creek Commons will create significant economic and social opportunity for Ramsey County, Arden Hills and the entire Twin Cities.

Outlot A purchase agreement approved

The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a purchase and sale agreement with Ryan Companies for Outlot A on Jan. 16, 2024. The agreement includes a due diligence period of up to 15 months, during which time Ryan Companies will work with the county, city and JDA to develop specific plans for Outlot A, which is zoned for commercial use.

Public Infrastructure Development and Design Request for Proposal

Ramsey County is seeking proposals for engineering services to develop design plans and specifications for municipal and transportation infrastructure within Rice Creek Commons. This includes grading, roadways, drainage, stormwater management features, mitigated wetlands and public utilities. The proposal will also include the final design of the Spine Road (CSAH 4), which will provide primary access to future residential neighborhoods and commercial areas throughout the site, as well as a direct connection to Interstate 35W.

The county’s previous engineering contract for Rice Creek Commons design and engineering services has expired. Additionally, there have been changes to proposed land use, proposed residential density and other design considerations since preliminary design materials were completed. As a result, Ramsey County, in partnership with the Joint Development Authority and City of Arden Hills, is seeking a new contract for this work.

Ramsey County is requesting $25 million in state bonding funds to build the stormwater infrastructure and Spine Road. Construction of this public infrastructure is key to unlocking the development potential of the 427-acre site.

Governing board

The Joint Development Authority (JDA) typically meets every other month, on the first Monday, at Arden Hills City Hall. Meetings are televised and open to the community. On alternate months, the JDA may also meet for work sessions.

The JDA along with city of Arden Hills and Ramsey County staff are working together to determine next steps for the development of Rice Creek Commons. Information about opportunities for community input will be posted when available.

Rice Creek Commons site tour