North End Vision Plan
North End Vision Plan - Adopted on September 9, 2019
Review the North End Vision Plan (PDF).
The North End Vision Plan is a shared community vision that addresses short- and long-term opportunities for change in Maplewood’s North End neighborhood. The Vision Plan is not prescriptive and, therefore, should not be used to determine the exact placement or design of new buildings and infrastructure. Instead, as a vision plan, it is intended to be a guide for how the public and private sectors can make future investments in the North End that are sustainable and resilient while at the same time meet the needs of the community.
Anchored by Maplewood Mall and St. John’s Hospital, the North End is a major generator of economic activity for the City of Maplewood and the surrounding region. However, profound changes are impacting the North End - the retail industry is rapidly evolving, the healthcare industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds, and the future Rush Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will significantly enhance transit service to the area. In order for the North End to continue as a thriving district of economic activity well into the future, it is important that on-going change be guided by a clear and actionable community-driven plan that focuses on:
- Opportunities for new development or redevelopment
- New or improved connections
- New or improved public spaces
- Priorities for new investment overall
Vision Plan (Near- & Long-Term)
The Vision Statement, goals, and design guidelines establish a framework for the North End Vision Plan. The Near-Term and Long-Term Vision Plan is not meant to show specific development recommendations or proposals, as much of the area’s development will be contingent on market trends and private development. Rather, these parameters create a vision for the future to inspire new development and revitalization efforts.
The Near-Term Vision Plan identifies areas for immediate improvement and those that have high likelihood of redevelopment potential within the next several years. This primarily consists of vacant or underutilized properties.
The proposed development shows residential, mixed use, retail, office, and a hotel, with mindful planning of surface lots and improved urban tree canopy. The plan includes plans for the Rush Line Bus Rapid Transit, development on the former Sears site, and an extension of St. John’s Boulevard through existing Birch Run Station Shopping Center, a recommendation the Project Team repeatedly heard throughout the project. Where possible, smaller street grids are proposed with enhanced street crossings to improve pedestrian conditions and trails, in addition to new and enhanced green spaces.
The Long-Term Vision Plan shows the fully-realized vision of what the area could become in future decades. Along with the new built development and green spaces, the Long-Term Vision includes amenities around the proposed BRT stations located by the Metro Transit Center and St. John’s Hospital. Proposed development includes residential, mixed use, retail, and office. Additional surface lots are placed mindfully and with improved tree canopy. Parking ramps by Metro Transit Center and the Maplewood Mall supplement the reduced amount of surface parking, while still leaving ample parking opportunities.
The Long-Term Vision Plan maintains the Near-Term development on the Sears site and the extension of St. John’s Boulevard, and develops northern portion of Birch Run Station. The smaller street grid and enhanced pedestrian crossings continues through northern portion of study area. Additionally, the Long-Term Vision Plan proposes a pedestrian bridge over White Bear Avenue to create a safer, more convenient connection to Maple Heights Park.
The vision includes enhanced green space and tree canopy throughout the site, water features and public plaza around the mall, and trail connections to Bruce Vento Regional Trail and overall improvements to pedestrian conditions and trails.