Prime Developable Land

The Project

Ramsey County has purchased and is cleaning 427 acres of fallow land in Arden Hills to spur regional development and put unproductive land back on the tax rolls. The project, when completed, will generate millions of dollars annually in county and state property taxes. This addition to the tax base will benefit the entire county, including the city of St. Paul and suburban taxpayers.

Development of TCAAP will include a mix of residential, commercial, light industrial and other uses. In addition, the remediation project will clean up the state’s largest Superfund site for a fixed price, to be recovered when the land is ultimately sold for private development.

Nearby highway improvements to Interstate 35W, I-694, Highway 10, Highway 96 and other roadways will benefit 240,000 commuters per day. These highway and bridge improvements are needed whether TCAAP is redeveloped or not.

Redevelopment of TCAAP will serve as a catalyst for economic development and spur job creation in Ramsey County, the North Metro and the state of Minnesota.

Background

Construction of the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant began in 1941. Between 1942 and 1945, TCAAP produced small arms ammunition. The work force reached its peak in July 1943, when employment totaled about 26,000 people, more than half of whom were women.

After WWII, the Twin Cities Ordnance Plant was “mothballed.”

In 1950, the facility was brought back into production to manufacture small arms and artillery ammunition for the Korean War. The Arsenal remained in service until 1957 when it was again closed down.

In 1965, during the Vietnam War, the plant was re-opened for the manufacture of new types of small arms ammunition. It was officially on standby status from 1976 through 2002, though various manufacturers continued to produce ammunition at the site until 2005.

In 2002 more than 600 acres were declared “in excess” by the United States Army.

Several redevelopment attempts have been made in the ensuing years, but none was successful. Ryan Companies was the last of several attempts by private developers to negotiate a purchase with GSA in the early 2000s, but could not make the redevelopment plans work.

On December 28, 2011, the County executed a $28.5 million Offer to Purchase with the U.S. General Services Administration for approximately 430 acres at TCAAP.

In February 2012, the County Board approved a fixed-price agreement with Carl Bolander and Sons Co., for hazardous material abatement, demolition and site remediation of the 430 acres. The total fixed-price contract amount is $22.6 million to bring the site to residential standards. This contract limits the county’s exposure to liability.

The county is financing the deal with $21.4 million in bonding, a $6 million transfer from its solid waste fund and $2 million in contingency funds.

The County received its “No Association Determination” letter from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on April 9, 2013. This letter protects the County from liability regarding the remediation of the site, and guarantees that this work “will not constitute conduct associating Ramsey County with the release or threatened release of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants at the site for purpose of Minn Stat. 115B.03, subd., 3(4) (2012).”

The County and the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) completed the first closing on the property on April 15, 2013. The County took title to 397 acres of the site and received a “lease” on the remaining 30 acres until the cleanup is completed. The cleanup contractor, Carl Bolander & Sons, estimates that the cleanup will be completed in 30 months, by October 2015.

2013-TCAAP-Project-Map

TCAAP Joint Development Authority Board

Monthly meeting
First Mondays, 5:30 p.m.
Arden Hills City Hall
1245 West Highway 96
Arden Hills, MN 55112


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Fellows Study TCAAP Redevelopment Potential

A group of Humphrey Policy Fellows is studying the redevelopment potential of the TCAAP property and working with the TCAAP Joint Development Authority to identify redevelopment best practices and to enhance community dialog about the project. Click here to see a presentation given to the JDA by the Fellows at a recent meeting. Stay tuned to this site for updates as the Fellows continue their work.

AHATs-for-blog

County Park Gets New Name

The TCAAP Wildlife Viewing Area is now the AHATS Wildlife Observation Area. AHATS is the acronym for Arden Hills Army Training Site, the 1,300 acres of training grounds that lie on the eastern edge of the former Twin Cities Army Arsenal Plant property.

Rice Creek Trail connection reopens

The portion of the Rice Creek Trail that connects the crossing over 35W at Highway Avenue/County Road H with the nature area to the north and east has been closed during the beginning of construction on the TCAAP property. After completing some critical work in this area, the County is ready to reopen the trail on July 3. We thank you for your patience in temporarily adjusting your travel plans during this closure. Please note: This newly reopened segment will remain a very active construction site entrance over the next two years. For the segment to remain open, trail users must obey all posted signs and stay within safety barriers while making the crossing from the nature area to the bridge over the highway. Public parking in this area remains closed. Please walk your bike through these areas to ensure your safety. Vehicles should continue to use trailhead parking off County Road I and elsewhere in the system. Please do not park at County Road H.

Ramsey County and its partners break ground at TCAAP

Ramsey County commissioners were joined by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Betty McCollum, state and local officials for an official groundbreaking at TCAAP on June 7, 2013. The event featured fireworks, the Irondale High School Marching Band and the demolition of the ammunition plant’s former administrative building. Click on the slideshow below to see photos from the event.

TCAAP contractors support Keystone Basic Needs

As the clean-up for redevelopment of the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) site in Arden Hills got under way June 7, the five project contractors donated $5,000 to Keystone’s Basic Needs Program as a gesture of support to the community. A big thanks go to these generous companies: Bay West, Mavo Systems, Inc., EnviroBate, Wenck Associates, and Bolander & Sons. Keystone Community Services is a community-based human service organization in St. Paul, Minnesota, offering a variety of human service programs for all ages. Read more here.

GSA Transfers TCAAP property to Ramsey County; Demolition begins

May 9, 2013, GSA press release

St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce Article About TCAAP Redevelopment

Nexus newsletter

Market Analysis

Jan. 8, 2013 TCAAP Market Potential Analysis

TCAAP Redevelopment Status Reports

Recent Coverage

Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

On December 12, 2012, Ramsey County extended an Amended Offer to Purchase for 427 acres of the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant property in Arden Hills for $28 million. Any funds expended by Ramsey County for environmental remediation and site clearance on the property will be credited against the purchase price. With these and other credits, the effective purchase price of the property was reduced to $4.9 million. The federal government retains responsibility for certain environmental liabilities under the Offer to Purchase, and federal environmental laws require the U.S. government to promise, for certain contaminated property it sells, that “any additional remedial action found to be necessary after the date of such transfer shall be conducted by the United States.” The purchase is structured in two parts: 1) initial purchase and transfer of title for 397 acres of previously remediated property, which the County closed on April 15, 2013; and 2) the remaining 30 acres of property which has residual soil contamination, and will be leased from the federal government while Ramsey County remediates the soil. Once the cleanup is complete, the County will close on the final 30 acres and take title to the leased property.

Q. Is Ramsey County liable for the contamination at TCAAP?

The purchase of this property has been specifically structured to avoid Ramsey County assuming liability for environmental contamination at the property. The County has entered into a “fixed fee” contract with Carl Bolander & Sons. Under the contract,  Bolander is responsible for remediation of the property, even if they find additional contamination at the site. Bolander also agreed to indemnify Ramsey County against all liability incurred in performing under the contract. Bolander will carry environmental and other insurance in addition to their contractor’s bond. In addition, the County has hired Bay West to provide environmental oversight of the cleanup. Finally, the County has purchased insurance to protect the County from any additional liability not identified in the Offer to Purchase agreement or any of the remediation contracts.

Q. What about the water treatment system on the site?

The Army will continue to own and operate the groundwater remediation system. This system will remain in place with oversight from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for approximately the next 50 years. This system will continue to treat contaminated groundwater through a system of pumping stations and an on-site treatment facility that air strips the contaminants from the water, and then recharges it into the water table.

Q. How do you know what kind of pollution is on the site?

A Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study \and numerous other environmental, ecological and health-based studies were completed for the site between 1983 and 1994. These and other studies were the basis for the issuance of three “Records of Decision” between 1992 and 1997, which detailed the response actions that the EPA, MPCA and Army determined needed to be taken at TCAAP. Pursuant to these documents, the cleanup of a substantial portion of the TCAAP property has already been completed. Future investigation of the property will be undertaken by Bolander and Wenck pursuant to a Quality Assurance Project Plan approved by both the EPA and MPCA, and a Field Sampling Plan approved by the MPCA. Once the investigation is complete, Bolander and Wenck will prepare and implement a Response Action Plan approved by the MPCA to address the identified environmental concerns. The County will seek a “certificate of completion” for the pollution on the site, as well as a “de-listing” from Superfund for the soil contamination.

Q. Who is overseeing the remediation work?

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, through their Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup Program, will oversee the remediation work. They have been delegated this authority by the Environmental Protection Agency. The County will follow their “bona fide prospective purchaser” guidelines, established under federal law to protect parties who buy or lease contaminated property. As part of that program, the MPCA has already issued a “No Association Determination” letter to Ramsey County. This is written assurance that the acquisition, cleanup, site clearance, installation of roads and utilities and other actions at the property will not associate Ramsey County with the identified release of hazardous substances on the property.

Q. TCAAP is a really big piece of land; how much is the County buying?

The County is purchasing 427 acres. The entire parcel is larger, and some of that land has already been acquired for various uses, including the Rice Creek Wildlife Area, the Ramsey County Public Works campus, the Arden Hills City Hall, and the MNDoT campus on County Road I. The County will also purchase, through a separate transaction, a parcel adjacent to the Rice Creek area, as well as a narrow strip of land that runs along the property line between TCAAP and the Arden Hills Army Training Site. This strip of land will be used as a Wildlife Corridor, and bike path connection from County Road I to Highway 96.

Q. How long will it take to clean up the property?

Bolander’s fixed price contract stipulates that the property will be fully remediated in 30 months, approximately by October 2015.

Q. How will Bolander access the site? What about the construction at highways 96 and 10?

Bolander will access the site at County Road H and Interstate 35W for the duration of the remediation project. Their activities will not be affected by the construction project at highways 96 and 10.

Q. What is the next step after the property is cleaned up?

Beginning in May 2013, the City of Arden Hills, working through their contractor Kimle Horne, has undertaken a Master Planning process. There will be several opportunities for people to participate in this process. The City of Arden Hills and Ramsey County must both approve the Master Plan, and then the Joint Development Authority (made up of representatives from the City and County) will implement the Master Plan through redevelopment activities on the site.

Q. Where can I find information about the project?

You can find information about the overall project on this site and information regarding the master planning process at www.cityofardenhills.org

 

TCAAP Area Road Construction

Q. Will the entrance to the Arden Manor mobile home park on Hwy 10 (the Big 10 entrance) remain open during construction?

Yes, this entrance to Arden Manor will remain open at all times. There will always be access from either the north or the south. The intersection of Highway 10/96 is currently closed and access to Arden Manor off of Highway 10 is from the north only. The Contractor is working on a temporary access road that will connect Highway 96 west of Highway 10 to the frontage road west of Highway 10. Once this temporary access road is complete, access to the Arden Manor entrance off of Highway 10 will be from the south via the temporary access road.

Q. What is the timing on the new southern (Hwy 96) entrance?

The timing for construction of relocated Prior Avenue is difficult to nail down at this early stage of construction. The Contractor’s current schedule shows construction beginning in early June but this is subject to change due to weather and change in sequencing of construction. They are required to maintain access to Arden Manor off of Highway 96 from either the old entrance or the new entrance at all times.

Q. What happens at the Old 10 / Hwy 96 intersection during construction?

The intersection will be closed to through traffic for the duration of the project construction, through November 2013. This is required to give the Contractor enough room to dig a 20+ foot deep hole and construct two bridges to carry Highway 10 over Highway 96.

Q. Where can additional information on the Hwy 10/96 intersection be found?

The Ramsey County Public Works Construction Updates website (http://www.co.ramsey.mn.us/pw/construction.htm) includes a link to a layout of the partial interchange. Our website also includes a link to MnDOT’s website for the project (http://www.dot.state.mn.us/metro/projects/hwy10ardenhills/). This is the best source of up-to-date information for the project as MnDOT is administering the construction contract. At MnDOT’s project website you can sign up to receive email updates.

Q. Is the state considering a sound wall on Hwy 10 near some of the homes?

A noise analysis was performed in the impact area of the interchange during the early stages of development of the project. The impact area did include homes along the Highway 10 frontage road and mobile homes adjacent to them. The analysis concluded that a noise wall in this area was not feasible, because the grade and alignment of the ramp would have required extraordinary design efforts to construct the wall.

If you have a question about the TCAAP project, email us. 

Demolition Begins May 13, 2013


Ramsey County has begun the work of remediating the TCAAP site, demolishing the old armament factory buildings and cleaning up pollution on the property. After remediation is complete, the site will be sold for development, which will add jobs to the local economy and return unproductive land to the tax rolls.

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Site Purchase Documents

Environmental Documents

RFP Documents

 

 

 

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Ramsey County
15 West Kellogg Boulevard
St. Paul, Minnesota 55102

(651) 266-8000
info@tcaap.net
www.co.ramsey.mn.us
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