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Demolition at TCAAP nears completion
Nearly a year to the day after initial demolition began for redevelopment at the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant (TCAAP) in Arden Hills, Ramsey County will commemorate the end of the demolition phase by beginning to remove the final building—Building #502—from the site on Friday, June 6, at 1 p.m.
Jill Hutmacher, community development director for Arden Hills, said the event is open to the public and will play like a groundbreaking of sorts.
“It will be elected officials with some sledgehammers making that ceremonial whack at the building,” Hutmacher said.
The event will also mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, which took place June 6, 1944. TCAAP was built in 1941 and through the end of World War II produced small arms ammunition; at its height, the plant employed 26,000 people.
The event will be held at the southern end of TCAAP; those planning to attend should access the site from Highway 96 at the entrance roughly across from North Heights Lutheran Church, as there will be no access from County Road H. Initial demolition began June 7, 2013.
As demolition at TCAAP winds down, the necessary hurdles to redevelopment continue to be cleared. A vote on the master plan land use map is slated for the June 30 Arden Hills city council meeting and state funds have been secured.
On May 20, Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bonding bill that includes $29 million for TCAAP roadway and access improvements, including new bridges at Interstate 35W and Highway 96, and 35W and County Road H, as well as access roads from 96.
In a joint statement, Ramsey County Board of Commissioners Chair Jim McDonough and Arden Hills Mayor David Grant said upgrading access to the site was important and they were pleased with the future job-creating potential of the redevelopment and the new tax base it will create.
“These interchanges are critical access points to the former TCAAP site that need to be redesigned to support redevelopment efforts,” the statement said. “We applaud Governor Dayton, Senator Stumpf, Representative Hausman, Senator Scalze, Representative Yarusso, and the entire Legislature’s leadership to help fund this project.
“This investment signals the rebirth of this site as a job creator and will help return it to the tax rolls after 70 years.”
Ramsey County bought the 427-acre TCAAP site in April 2013. Plans for it include some 1,700 housing units, 2 million square feet of office space, 300,000 square feet of retail and 53 acres of open space.
Mike Munzenrider can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-748-7824. Follow him on Twitter @mmunzenrider.