Hoping to attract more jobs, the city of Ramsey is exploring the establishment of a new business park on Hwy. 10.
Ninety-three acres just west of the COR development project area are ripe for new industry, according to a market analysis. Such a development could bring 2,700 new jobs over the next two decades.
But the devil is in the details.
The undeveloped land now being eyed for the new business park is privately owned. Only about one-quarter of it is outfitted with infrastructure. And competition is fierce.
Neighboring Elk River is planning to develop a business park, and both Blaine and Brooklyn Park have undeveloped property marketed for new industry.
Ramsey city staffers presented the findings of an economic development analysis to Ramsey Economic Development Authority on Thursday.
The city started exploring the concept of a new business park in 2013. Available land around the city’s original business parks along Bunker Lake Boulevard has become scarce, according to the city.
The suburb of 26,000 people currently has about 6,000 jobs, said Patrick Brama, the city’s Economic Development Manager.
A new business park marketed to industrial users would complement — not compete with — COR, which is earmarked for new homes, apartments, shopping and offices, proponents say.
“There is a snowball effect that happens with business parks,” Brama said. “It creates tax base. It creates good-paying jobs. That drives retail. It drives people to want to live in our community.”
Moving forward, city leaders must decide what kind of investment and incentives, if any, they’d like to make in a new business park, Brama said.
Brama said the current landowners are interested in developing the property.
It’s unlikely the city would buy the property, he said, but city leaders could explore ways to make the land ready to develop.