Hillcrest master plan work to begin in October

City looking for citizens to help guide process

 

As summer winds down and turns to fall, work on planning the future of the former Hillcrest Golf Course is beginning to wind up. 

The City of St. Paul, which will lead the process to create a master plan for the 112-acre site, is currently putting together and sending out request for proposals to hire a consultant to lead the planning process.

The goal is to hire a consultant in September to begin working with the Hillcrest Community Advisory Committee in October, said Bill Dermody from St. Paul’s Planning and Economic Development Department during the Aug. 21 District 2 Community Council meeting.

He said from its start in October the master plan process will take about 18 months, concluding with approval by the St. Paul City Council. The master plan will help guide what kind of development — commercial, residential, parks — will go in at the Hillcrest site, located in the northeast corner of the city bounded by Larpenteur Avenue and McKnight Road.

The city is looking for residents to apply to join the Hillcrest Community Advisory Committee to help provide feedback throughout the master planning process. Applications to apply are due Friday, Sept. 6, and can be submitted online at www.stpaul.gov/departments/planning-economic-development/planning/hillcr....

 

Owned by port authority

The St. Paul Port Authority bought the Hillcrest Golf Course back in June for $10 million in bonds, meaning that the purchase was funded by St. Paul tax dollars. 

The golf course had been put up for sale in 2017 by its owner, the St. Paul Pipefitters Union Local 455, after years of operating losses and declining membership.

The port authority is a separate entity from the City of St. Paul that works to develop large plots of land in the city. Some of the projects the authority has developed on the East Side include the Phalen Boulevard corridor, leading to the businesses along it, as well as former 3M locations known as Beacon Bluff. It is a state-chartered organization with a board of directors appointed by the St. Paul mayor. 

The port authority’s development work mainly deals with environmental clean up and infrastructure to prepare lots for purchase by businesses and developers.

Kathryn Sarnecki, vice president of redevelopment and harbor management for the St. Paul Port Authority, said the organization will work to clean up pollution at the Hillcrest site, in addition to putting in roads and utilities, as there is no water, sewer or electrical infrastructure in place there now.

She said during the Aug. 21 meeting that an initial investigation of the site has found some mercury pollution, most likely from a fungicide that would have been used on the golf course grass.

To stay up to date on the project, neighbors can sign up to receive email updates at www.stpaul.gov/hillcrest.

 

–Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at eastside@lillienews.com.

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