Anticipating the closure of the Ford assembly plant in 2011, the CRWD, the City of Saint Paul, and Barr developed a redevelopment plan for the 134-acre property along the Mississippi River. Following a feasibility study, Barr developed master-plan concepts for managing stormwater and converting the site into a public space. We created a decision-support framework to help the city and stakeholders compare two stormwater management options for the site—a conventional approach with distributed underground infrastructure and a regional approach incorporating a green-infrastructure corridor that would help achieve the city's vision of sustainable site development. Each option was evaluated in light of our clients’ stormwater management, sustainability, redevelopment, creek-restoration, and place-making goals.
In addition to a traditional cost-benefit analysis, Barr conducted an innovative life cycle-cost and -impact assessment that monetized socioeconomic benefits. We assessed factors such as water quality and quantity, flood-risk reduction, recreation and property values, and water, carbon, and energy footprints. A comparison of the two options revealed that a green-infrastructure corridor more than doubled the value of the conventional approach while enhancing the site’s public amenities. The master plan combines multiple stormwater treatment BMPs to reduce runoff volume and improve water quality. It details several low-impact stormwater BMPs, including rain gardens, regional infiltration basins, and filtration treatment basins. In 2017, the Saint Paul city council approved zoning so that the property could be developed, providing an opportunity to connect a mixed-use community space to the riverfront and a regional park system.
Barr’s alternative analysis report can be viewed at: https://www.capitolregionwd.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Ford-Site-Sustainable-Stormwater-Management-August-2016-reduced.pdf