Boys Totem Town Site Redevelopment

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Boys Totem Town site
Boys Totem Town site (© 2018 Pictometry)

On Aug. 1, 2019, Ramsey County suspended operations at Boys Totem Town. The residential treatment facility for adolescent boys was in operation for more than 100 years in the Highwood Hills neighborhood of Saint Paul. The facility closed due to a significant decline in the number of youth in correctional placements and the county’s ongoing efforts through the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) and related “Deep-End” reforms.

During the COVID-19 health crisis, the property has been held in reserve and the timetable for future redevelopment planning is delayed.

The county is currently in the initial phases of exploring potential future uses of the 72-acre site, and is completing necessary due diligence. The county is coordinating regarding future planning in partnership with the City of Saint Paul, the District 1 Community Council and other stakeholders. The goal is to identify a new use for the land that honors the area’s rich past, is consistent with city and neighborhood goals, and aligns with the City of Saint Paul’s 2040 Land Use Plan.

Community engagement

Ramsey County and Saint Paul will develop an engagement plan with the community to ensure there is equitable land use of the Boys Totem Town site, recognizing that Boys Totem Town was an important part of the Highwood Hills neighborhood for decades and predates many of the adjacent residential areas.

Information about how to share input and participate in the process will be posted online once the engagement plan is developed.